It is truce at last between the Nigerian LNG Limited, (NLNG) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, regarding access for NLNG vessels to the Bonny channels to resume lifting of gas cargo for export.
Nigeria’s gas export had been imperiled since early May when NIMASA triggered a trade dispute with the NLNG by “blocking off access to the Bonny Channel from the fairway buoy, at the beginning of the Channel, to buoys 17 and 18 for all Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) vessels,” operating in the area, on claims that the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company had refused to pay the statutory 3% levy of every freight entering or leaving the country through the nation’s territorial waters.
Thursday noon, however, the three month feud appeared to have ended, according to sources at the Attorney General of the federation’s office, who hinted PREMIUM TIMES that a tripartite legal team for the NLNG, the Attorney General, and NIMASA were working hard from Wednesday overnight into the early morning hours of Thursday seeking agreement for the release of detained NLNG vessels and for NLNG to pays outstanding levies that triggered the gas export wars that has put the nation’s export at risk.
NLNG counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni, SAN, had also sought court adjournment in Lagos to come back Friday to enable the NLNG come to terms on proposed consent terms to be brought before the court among the feuding parties.
The NIMASA Acting Director for Shipping Development, Waredi Enisuoh, announced then that his agency blocked the channel because of the “NLNG’s disregard and demonstrated unwillingness to abide by the country’s Maritime laws especially sections of the NIMASA Act that mandates payment of levies based on gross freight on exports and imports and the Cabotage Law.”