Nigeria: NPA liberalising oil and gas free trade zones

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – In order to break the unfair competition enjoyed by certain oil and gas trading firms and maintain the global practice in designation of ports/terminals, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) got President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for a policy review.

Report says the policy will guarantee the right of importers to choose terminals or ports of their choice for the discharge of their cargo.

This move was reportedly initiated by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman.

It was revealed that the previous administration led by Goodluck Jonathan had directed that $500 million oil and gas investment project be relocated from Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) base, Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Lagos to Agga in Bayelsa. The project was billed to build fabrication and integration yards for Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility for the use of local and foreign-owned oil and gas companies.

The presidential approval for the policy review may destroy the gains made by the partners handling the project, the Managing Director of LADOL, Dr Amy Jadesimi, explained.

Journalists gathered that the president had convened his approval for the policy review on April 21, 2017, to the Minister of Transport in a correspondence that emphasised that:

‘Federal government of Nigeria (FGN) remains guided by global practice in designation of terminal/ports operations into three categories of bulk cargo, container cargo and multipurpose cargo. The FGN rejects categorisation of oil and gas multi-purpose cargo terminal, as this is alien to relevant concession agreements and inconsistent with global shipping practice.’

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