14 November 2013, Lagos – There are indications that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, may be heading for another showdown with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency following the former’s claims of rescuing NIMASA’s personnel from a distress vessel.
This is coming about three months after a row between the two organisations over alleged unpaid taxes by the NLNG to NIMASA.
The apex maritime regulatory agency said in a statement last Saturday that a report in a section of the media purporting that its personnel were rescued out of distress by NLNG was false.
According to NIMASA, the story which stated that, “NLNG rescue NIMASA men from drowning”, and which indicated that “the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited rescued NIMASA officials and Navy personnel on board a tugboat, MT Bori, was not only false and misleading but obvious to any discerning mind that it was premeditated to embarrass the Agency.”
NIMASA in the statement which was signed by its Deputy Director, Public Relations, Mr Isichei Osamgbi, and made available to newsmen, explained that: “It is pertinent to state that MT Symphony registered by the Flag State Authority of Panama was illegally being towed by MT Bori when NIMASA was contacted to stop the operation, a request that was promptly granted”.
“It is also necessary to state clearly that there was no NIMASA staff or Navy personnel from the Maritime Guard Command of the Agency on board the said MT Bori as alleged in the report”, the statement concluded.
The duo had earlier in the year been locked in legal battle over payment of some revenue to NIMASA, leading to a three-week blockade of some NLNG tankers from exiting the export terminal.
The matter was later resolved at the Federal High Court when the NLNG agreed to pay the disputed levies.