In a letter from state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on September 8, the Nigerian ban on entry and operation of 113 named tankers in its territorial waters was declared lifted. This lift was carried out in the directive from the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. He has instructed vessels entering into Nigerian territorial waters to issue a written guarantee that they “will not be utilised for any illegal activity whatsoever”.
The president’s office had, earlier in July this year, issued a directive to ban the named 113 Tankers with little explanation. Now, it is stated that the president has undertaken to review the named vessels and their operations in their territorial waters.
The shipping community speculated that the earlier ban was a move by the administration was trying to uproot corruption and oil theft that was causing billions of dollars of loss to the exchequer.
The dip in crude prices has also been a setback to Nigeria, whose daily production touches 2 million barrels. Earlier, President Buhari dissolved the NNPC board and ordered an investigation into all the malpractices. Former ExxonMobil executive, Emmanuel Kachikwu was appointed as the head of NNPC in August. With the restructuring of NNPC and a total overhaul of its management, he plans to eradicate oil theft in a span of eight months.
The Government will soon sign new deals in lieu of the old deals involving oil- for- fuel swap agreements that was cancelled by the President.
Several old gasoline schemes floated are under scrutiny. Thus revamping Nigeria’s refining sector from its neglected state. Overall, Nigeria is ambitious to bring about sweeping changes to its oil sector to boost revenues.