18 July 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — A group under the aegis of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, NASC, has queried the non-involvement of stevedores in the measurement and loading of crude oil exported from the country, saying this is negatively affecting the nation’s earnings.
Speaking at the recent stakeholders’ interactive forum organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety, NIMASA, in Calabar, President of NASC, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola, said the government has multi-phased, calibrated meters at the oil wellheads, flow stations and export terminals to determine the quantity of crude oil produced and exported by the international oil companies, IOCs.
But, he stated that the machines that monitor loading into export vessels are owned, calibrated and operated by the IOCs without any form of supervision or participated by any government agency.
He said: “It has been observed that the Federal Government’s reliance on the international oil companies to determine the quantity of oil production is negatively affecting the country’s crude earnings.
“The country, therefore, lacks the comprehensive and independently verifiable metering infrastructure, thereby relying only on the information provided by the IOCs or indigenous operators for production figures.
“This has raised serious concerns over the issues of transparency and accountability in the oil industry regarding the quantity of crude oil production in Nigeria,” he said.
“There have always been discrepancies between what vessels declare to the Nigerian authorities and what they declare as originating from Nigeria at the international market,” added.
The group also explained that the absence of dockworkers in these platforms and terminals has resulted in insecurity where arms and ammunitions find their way easily into the country through these scarcely monitored corridors.