17 December 2015, Lagos – The Petroleum Product Depot Owners Association has called for an intervention in the lease of the Waziri Jetty and its adjourning land by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The association said at a press conference in Lagos that the lease, which was granted to NIPCO, was carried out at the expense of five other local firms (A-Z Petroleum, Energy Destination, Hensmor, G-Eurafric, Aiteo) using the facility to deliver petroleum products.
The Executive secretary, PPDOA, Patricia Okereke, said the lease was sealed in 2013 by the NPA despite a standing court order restricting it from leasing the jetty and its adjourning land.
She said, “We appeal to all the authorities concerned, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari, to call the NPA, NIPCO and the PPDOA to a roundtable and find out why the NPA would grant a lease of the Waziri Jetty to a foreign firm against the interest of four indigenous companies.
“According to the provisions of Local Content, the NPA ought to have given the four locally owned companies the first right of refusal. We want a level playing field to do our business and compete fairly but granting a lease of that strip of land to NIPCO, a foreign company, is a threat to our investment.”
Okereke accused the NPA of evacuating the PPDOA’s cabins warehousing their apparatus for discharging of vessels on the jetty’s adjoining land.
She said the association had a few weeks ago received a directive from the Apapa port manager to immediately remove its porter cabins from the jetty.
The jetty, which has been a subject of legal tussle, was in 2007, reportedly closed down by the NPA without any notice to the users.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, Captain Iheanacho Ebubeogu, when contacted, said, “I will get back to you in an hour. We are preparing our response.”
But he had not got back as of the time of filing this report (8.00pm on Wednesday).