27 February 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — Nigeria’s Federal Government has introduced new procedures for the issuance of export clearance permit for petroleum, which will become effective from the second quarter of 2012.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, made this known during a stakeholders meeting on the review of the procedure for issuance of the permit in Abuja, weekend.
Kigbu said the move became necessary after due assessment of the current procedures, in which the ministry observed a number of anomalies, resulting in avoidable delays through bureaucratic bottlenecks and willful abuse of due process.
Accordingly, he said the ministry resolved to completely overhaul the process in line with global best practices, adding that government is conscious of the complexities of oil exports and was making efforts to ensure that all obstacles were removed.
Under the new guidelines, the following categories of companies are eligible to export crude oil and gas: Nigerian LNG Ltd (NLNG), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), International Oil Companies (IOCs), Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Indigenous Oil Producing Companies; Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), who already have licences from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for receptacles/storage facilities (i.e jetties/depots).
Products that can be exported include liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, condensate, refined products, lubricants and greases.
Kigbu, however, noted that the new procedure was not intended to frustrate oil and gas exporters and their businesses, and urged exporters to adhere strictly to the new guidelines in order to reposition and improve on the issuance process in Nigeria.
He said: “The new process is expected to usher in faster, better and more transparent method in the issuance of these permits to deserving exporters.”
Earlier, Director of Commodities and Products, Mr. Julius Apanisile, had urged stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to cooperate and support the new guidelines in order to facilitate efficient and effective issuance of export clearance permit.
He added: “If there are any areas you need amendment let us know so that we can discuss and agree on the terms to facilitate smooth operation for second quarter round of lifting.”
But stakeholders present, while commending the ministry’s efforts to fast track the issuance of export permits, however, called for a stay of action on the new procedures until the third quarter to enable them execute the second quarter lot, which was already at hand.
They also solicited for consideration of the work in progress for the first quarter permits.
Among other representatives of companies and government agencies present at the meeting were, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigeria Customs Service, Waltersmith, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, Shell Group, Moni Pulo, Allied Energy, and Platform Petroleum.
Others included Pan Ocean Oil, Addax Petroleum, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Petrobras, Energia Limited, Seplat Petroleum, Philips Oil Company, Sahara Energy, Pillar Oil, Statoil, CNOOC Nigeria Ltd., and Chevron Nigeria Ltd.
Also represented were Nigerco Nigeria Ltd., Midwestern Oil & Gas, Afren Energy, Famfa Oil Ltd., Neconde Energy Ltd., Atlas Petroleum Ltd., Total E & P Nigeria, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, Sterling Oil, AMNI International, Pillar Oil Ltd, and a host of others.