Petroleum Products Depot Owners Association (PPDOA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in their business as a result of an alleged closure of the Waziri Jetty in flagrant disobedience to a subsisting court injunction protecting their businesses from such action.
This call was made at a press parley in Lagos organized by the association whose members are; Hensmor Nigeria Limited, A-Z Petroleum Nigeria Limited, G-Eurafric Nigeria Limited, One Terminal Nigeria Limited, Aiteo Energy and NIPCO PLC.
The body also called the attention of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; the various Heads of the House and Senate Committees on Marine Transport and Jetties and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to their plight.
With copies of the court injunction made available, the executive secretary of the association, Barrister, Mrs. Trish Okereke said “the injunction was issued to protect their rights when NPA attempted to use their government position and power to frustrate our business operations sometime in 2007 when we protested on the lease of the common user jetty land for base oil business to sole users of the jetty.
As of today, your excellencies and esteemed Heads of Committees, the Port Manager has locked up the Waziri jetty and has continued to prevent us from accessing this jetty for the legitimate operations of our petroleum business.”
Continuing, Okereke added: “ The Port Manger’s flawed reasoning is based upon uninvestigated erroneous facts and hear says from one company called Leader Marketing whom she claims has been given a lease of the jetty land. This admittance which the Port Manager has made in writing – flouts the subsisting court injunction given in favour of the petroleum company users of the jetty.
Other considerations, she maintained are pertinent facts that “ while this closure continues, access to conduct servicing of our pipes have been precluded meaning these pipes which have to be serviced periodically to prevent rust and fire hazard from occurring when discharge operations are conducted, have not been able to be done by the jetty users. Additionally. Commencement of repairs of the caved jetty waterfront have been booked and this construction is urgently required to repair and upgrade the jetty posing its own brand of hazard to users. It should be noted that repairs of the jetty have been proposed to NPA by the common users for well over 4 years now and have been wholly frustrated by NPA’s failure to return feedback on proposed construction and engineering drawings submitted to NPA for the works. It is equitable that companies who utilize the jetty or their operations be given the right to conduct repairs and upgrades lest new charges arise that burden the petroleum servicing of users if other companies are given the right to repair.”
The association added that the closure is egregious and tactless given that when the Nigerian Railway Corporation has almost completed the rail tracks that run directly behind the depots to assist in the seamless delivery of petroleum product to the Northern regions, the closure threatens to truncate the plans to petroleum wet the north and the middle belt.
The body therefore pleads with Mr. President to order NPA obedience of the rule of law and to immediately re-open the Waziri jetty so that their petroleum operations may continue; discontinuance of all jetty land construction; to approve a grant of a 10 years lease of the jetty land to see what they can do with repairs and upgrade of the jetty since their goal is to install firefighting safety equipment, safeguard of lives and properties and call the Port manager to order.