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NIMASA Blames Customs for Illegal Midstream Discharge of Petroleum Products

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has blamed the increase of illegal midstream of discharge of petroleum products on the failure of Nigeria Custom Service to provide electronic cargo manifest to relevant agencies.

The agency also said it is unable to monitor the amount of crude oil that is being lifted from the terminal in Nigeria and does not have a detailed list of oil rigs currently working in Nigeria

Speaking during a stakeholders  forum organised by the custom in Lagos penultimate week, the Chief Shipping Development Officer, NIMASA, Mr Momoh Alhassan appealed to the Custom Comptroller General, Col. Ahmed Ali (rtd) to make the electronic manifests of ships available to NIMASA.

”We are asking the Nigeria Customs to allow us have access to electronic manifest. Whether we like it or not, it has become an instrument for national security and revenue for government agencies in the port,” he said

Given an instance of the problem, he said, ” we are faced right now with the challenge of midstream discharge. I have been to EFCC over time concerning midstream discharge and we found that the permit is granted by the Nigeria Customs but we do not have access to it.”

He lamented that NIMASA does not have the statistics of the oil rig platforms and FPSOs  on Nigerian territorial waters and that he equally need this information from the Customs for revenue generation.

According to him, it takes NIMASA as long as one month to access cargo manifest from shipping agents and the delay is because of customs procedure.

” We all need your manifest, every government agency in the port cannot carry out their assignment without the Custom. They are very important in the maritime industry.We cannot go to the high seas to monitor vessels involved in the midstream discharge with Navy without Customs. We cannot go to the terminal to see the quantity of crude oil being lifted in this country without the cooperation of Customs, DPR and NPA. So most agencies cannot do their job without NPA and Customs

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