Ships that are delayed at their discharge points in any of the nation’s ports or jetties will be subject to demurrage charges after a prescribed number of days. Such charges are to be at the rates provided in the charter party of the importing mother vessel, so says Mrs. Florence Bolokor-Mohammed, Chief Press Secretary in the ministry of petroleum.
The press secretary confirmed last week that the minister, Dr Rilwanu Lukman has already issued the new directive which is expected to have already taken effect.
The new measure is reportedly aimed at forcing quick discharge of imported petroleum products at the various jetties.
Confirming the aim of the new directive, the minister acknowledged that some of the problems of the distribution of the products in the downstream sector of the oil industry include inability of vessels to discharge on scheduled dates and disguising "unclassed" vessels for conveying petroleum products in the nation’s coastal waters.
The minister also directed the Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) of petroleum depots and jetties in the country to complete the upgrade of their facilities by December 31st, 2009.
According to the statement, Lukman requested the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to withdraw all old and outdated vessels in order to reduce demurrage and congestion, with effect from October 1st, 2009.
In the statement, the minister asked NPA to approve the construction of Single Buoy Moorings (SBMs) and laying of submarine pipelines to facilitate offshore discharge.
He noted that most of the nation’s jetties were situated in waters with shallow draught, which do not allow large vessels to berth, coupled with the problem of old and outdated vessels, leading to loss of time in manual ullaging.
Lukman affirmed that the current national daily demand for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is 164,000 metric tonnes while Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol is 32 million litres. Aviation fuel , he said, is 2 million litres while household kerosene (HHK) and diesel, otherwise known as Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) are 7 million litres and 10 million litres respectively.