Nigeria: Buhari Makes U-turn, Lifts Ban On 113 Crude Oil Vessels

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has lifted the ban he imposed on 113 crude oil tankers from operating in the nation’s territorial waters, following their alleged role in corruption and the theft of Nigerian crude oil.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, conveyed Buhari’s pardon to commodity traders and shipbrokers in a letter, according to a Financial Times news report.

President Muhammadu Buhari issued the directive allowing the entry of incoming ships subject to a guarantee that they “will not be utilised for any illegal activity whatsoever”.

The report said the NNPC letter which was dated September 8, 2015, stated that the president had undertaken a review of the vessels and their operations.

THEWILL recalls that President Buhari issued the ban on July 15, a few weeks after he assumed office as President.

INTERTANKO, the global oil tanker industry association in a protest letter called on the President to lift the ban since there was “no evidence or grounds” to back its allegations.

“INTERTANKO protests in the strongest possible way that these bans should be lifted with immediate effect until grounds and evidence for the ban have been given to each vessel and vessel owner/operator, and the owner/operator has had an opportunity to respond,” General Counsel Michele White said in a letter to the NNPC, dated July 22.

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