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NPA opens discussions with NLNG on restrictions along Bonny Channel

Following an appeal in November last year by shipping companies and stakeholders to the Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman to intervene in the alleged blocking of channel by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), the agency has opened discussions with NLNG on the dualisation of Bonny Channel.

Business Hilights recalls that iIn a petition dated November 17, 2017, signed by Pius N Amam and Nwauzor G. E. on behalf of Berthing Commimittee, Onne Port Complex, the shipping companies accused NLNG of “Channel blocking against other ships movement when NLNG Vessels are berthing or sailing”.

A copy of the petition titled:“Challenges  Encountered  By Shipping Companies/Agents During Operation,” was handed over to the NPA Managing Director on Monday at Onne, Rivers State during a stakeholders’ forum.

Addressing stakeholders in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Managing Director explained that ongoing discussions with NLNG is expected to roll out modalities for the proposed dualisation, funding, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Erosion Control, among others.

Whereas similar meeting was held at Onne Port Complex on Thursday last week, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello-Koko, who represented Bala-Usman informed the gathering that all relevant stakeholders including government agencies will be carried along before final decisions are arrived at.

According to the shipping firms, apart from unnecessary loss of man hour, NLNG restrictions expose Vessels to dangers of attack from criminal elements along the axis.

The stakeholder meeting was also an opportunity for the Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex, Alhaji Abubarkar Umar to canvass further expansion.

He said: “The likelihood of Port expansion for increase in productivity cannot be overemphasized. The Rivers Port Complex has the potential to serve as the hub centre of transshipment’.

He explained that other undeveloped areas that surround the Bonny River reclamation zone are suitable as “investors’ haven for cargo consolidation”.

The Brass LNG situated within the Port’s jurisdiction is investor friendly, pointing out that it meet global requirement of liquefied natural gas”.

“In furtherance to the Federal Government Policy to boost/harness these resources, private sector investment would yield optimal and accruable revenue from oil and gas”.

Accompanied by Dr. Sokonte H. Davies, Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Professor Idris Abubakar, Executive Director – Engineering and Technical Services, among others, Bala-Usman urged stakeholders to support ongoing development in the sector.