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Why jetties got quit order

The row over the relocation of private jetties continued at the weekend, with Federal Government sources saying the decision was taken for security reasons.
Other reasons are technical and legal matters that may affect the usage of privately-owned jetties in the country, it was learnt.

The Nationreported exclusively that President Goodluck Jonathan directed that a $500m oil and gas project be relocated from LADOL Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Lagos to Agga in Baylsa State – a decision which a court has reversed – temporarily.

Sources close to the Ministry of Trade said the directives given to owners of private jetties to relocate the reception of ocean going vessels to properly approved and established ports was not political.

The sources said prior to the last week order on relocation of private jetties, the Presidency, Ministry of Transport, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) had given similar directives.

The sources said that the directives were meant to guard against security breach and loss of revenue to the agencies concerned.

They said 15 publications and letters had been issued since 2012 by the government, in order to ban private jetties operating in the country, adding that none of the affected companies has responded to them.

They said the allegation,by Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) that the directives would create a monopoly was wrong.

The sources said that LADOL requested for permission to build Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels, stressing that the government later found out that the firm does not have the wherewithal to execute the project.

“Documents made available to the government showed that the width and draft of the Lagos channel cannot accommodate the facility because of limited room for safe manoeuvring and that the average depth and channels are 9.5 meters and 210 meters, while the turning basin radius is less than 600 meters. Based on global practices, the minimum radius for turning basin for FPSO is 600 meters,” the sources added.

According to them, the high traffic of vessels could lead to blockade of the channels for weeks or months, there by causing accidents for bigger vessels like FPSO.

On safety, the government said other users of channel would Bevin jeopardy, if it has not ordered the relocation of private jetties to authorised ports.

It said LADOL is yet to come out with modus operandi on how to comply with the directives on the relocation of private jetties from unapproved areas to legally certified ports, despite attempts by the Federal Ministry of Transport to make the firm reason with the government on the issue.

It said the government ordered the relocation of $500milion FPSO project from LADOL Free Trade Zone via two letters communicated to the firm, after involving in several negotiations on the issue with the firm.

The sources said the claims by LADOL that they were under pressure by the President Goodluck Jonathan to relocate to Bayelsa State was sheer blackmail.

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Posted By BOBRICKY On 08:40 Mon, 18 May 2015

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