Following last week’s bombing of the federal government-owned oil depot facility located at Atlas cove by members of the Movement for the emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), owners of the multi billion Naira Ibafon petroleum products depots have raised their security level amidst fear of a possible attack on the sprawling facility.
The Nigerian Ports Authourity and Ibafon jetty house close to 15 tank farms and industry watchers say it is a possible target for militants who caught the nation unawares last week.
Not wanting a repeat of the Atlas Cove Jetty attack, owners of the expansive oil depots have raised security committee within their technical committee and also opened fresh lines of security surveillance with the Nigerian Navy, marine Police and the regular Police.
The multi-billion naira jetty in Apapa is occupied by top players in the down stream sector. They include: Ascon, Integrated Oil and Gas, Total, Capital Oil and Gas, Zenon, Rahamanniya, among others
Shipping Position Weekly confirmed that a security meeting was convened in Lagos last week by the technical committee shortly after the Atlas Cove attack.
Our correspondent learnt that the committee was unanimous in is opinion that since the militants were able to infiltrate the security network of the highly fortified Atlas Cove, it shows that the security level in the country is not enough and all hands will be on deck hence forth to enhance security at both entrance and exit of the ports.
Confirming the development to Shipping Position Weekly, the chairman of the technical committee Mr. Godfrey Okorie expressed shock over the Atlas Cove attack, saying that it came at a time that the depot owners least expected and that it calls for caution.
“We held a meeting and we have discussed with all the necessary security agencies and other government agencies on how to tighten up security here so that we will not be taken unawares, we may not have 100 per cent security, but then, we want to put up a system that can give us at least about 50 per cent assurance, including constant security patrol of the waters. We are working with the marine Police, the Navy and all the statutory bodies, we are making plans to put in place sophisticated gadgets that will ensure 24 hour monitoring all around each jetties” he disclosed.
Okorie also raised alarm that danger looms ahead as the attack carried out on the Atlas cove jetty might lead to another round of scarcity in the country.
He stated that though the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) claimed that the attack will not lead to scarcity of products, because according to him, NNPC is counting on the support from independent depots to make fuel available in the country.
Confirming the palpable fear among the depot owners, he said: “If a jetty belonging to the federal government can be attacked, the next thing is to descend on those that are assisting the government in making fuel available which may not even have up to the security the government is supposed to provide, we are living in a world of fantasy where anything is possible, if the Muslim fanatics can blow up America’s World Trade Centre, then we should expect anything”.