15 April 2016, Lagos — A FORMER National Hydrographer, Comdr. Joseph Abulu has said that Nigerians are not able to lift crude oil and other petroleum products because the government is not giving an opportunity to indigenous ship-owners even when they have standard vessels capable of performing the function.
The former navy officer in an exclusive interview with Vanguard said that most of those involved in the lifting of the products presently do not have their own vessels but are only chartering vessels.
He said it is not right for the Federal Government to be acquiring vessels for that purpose, stressing that there are Nigerians who own ships and have the adequate knowledge required to lift products for export.
According to him, “I was telling you of the present situation where the federal government is now acquiring tanker to lift products, there are people who have tankers to lift our petroleum products. I have been in the vanguard of those fighting for
Nigerians to be allowed to lift our crude oil going to the international market.
“Nigeria is the only oil country in the world that uses foreign vessel owners and foreign vessels to lift her petroleum products to the international market. Why should a Nigerian not own a super tanker, and at any rate 1 could remember in 1999/2000 during the Obasanjo administration, 1 was the member of the committee that was set up to look at how Nigeria can start lifting crude.”
*Godfrey Bivbere – Vanguard