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Shell, Chevron In Trouble Over Defaults On Stevedoring

Olufemi Samuel, Abuja

Two oil giants Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Chevron Nigeria are in trouble following the resolve by the Senate to recommend sanctions against them for allegedly defaulting over the years on Stevedoring activities.

SPDC and Chevron Nigeria Limited are alleged to have in the last five and two years respectively denied company authorized to carry out Stevedoring activities on players in the Maritime Industry.

The frauds allegedly perpetrated by the oil companies came to the fore during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions with a report by Martins Chidi Okonkwo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MARTREACH LOGISTICS, a Company Authorised to carry out Stevedoring activities on players in the Maritime Industry .

According to the MD of MARTREACH LOGISTICS LIMITED, the company is duly registered and licensed to carry out stevedoring services in line with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (stevedoring) Regulations, 2014 and assigned to carry out such exercise on Bonga Terminal of Shell in 2012 and Chevron oil Jetty in Warri in 2015.

He alleged that the two oil companies have not allowed Matreach to carry out the needed exercise on their terminals and jetties in line with the authorization given the company .

He said : “Sometime in 2012 in line with the Local Content Policy and the Federal Government’s commitment on capacity our company was fortunate to be recommended for approval by the Ministry of Transport and subsequently approved by the Minister of Transport to carry out stevedoring operations at the BONGA ON/OFF- SHORE TERMINAL effective for a period of (Ten) 10 years

“That upon this appointment, we wrote series of letters to Shell Petroleum Development (SPDC) informing them about the appointment the aim of which was to grant us access to the operational terminal to commence work as authorized by the Nigerian Ports Authority. Our company till date has not been granted access to the terminal Located at BONGA TERMINAL.

“We state categorically that as it stands there exists a company carrying out the stevedoring activities we were appointed to carry out at the BONGA TERMINAL, with total disregard to the appointment of our company.

“We further state that our company has continued to suffer damages in the last 4 years as a result of this infraction and the Nation’s economy as well. This is a flagrant breach of Regulation 17 (4)

“Again sometime in 2015 our company again was appointed to carry out stevedoring operations at the Chevron Jetty (Warri) and Chevron Nigeria Limited was duly informed of our employment

“Pursuant to our appointment, our company communicated to Chevron Nigeria limited of her appointment to carry out stevedoring activities at the Chevron Jetty Warri but this was treated with disdain and frustrated the efforts of our company with disregard to the rule of law.
“Furthermore, we ask the question; who are the persons carrying out stevedoring operations at the Chevron Jetty Warri while our appointment still subsists?

“We refer this honorable committee to Regulation 16 (c) to ascertain who is the lawful Stevedoring company to collect and also remit the 0.5% stevedoring charges to Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)”.

Though representatives of the oil companies investigative session , made spirited efforts to deny the allegations ,but the committee chaired by Senator Sam Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), declared that facts at its disposal tally with submissions made by the MD of Matreach Logistics .

“The facts before us are very clear, the two oil companies must comply with the laws of the land as far as stevedoring activities are concerned in the interest of dock workers and the Nation’s economy. Recommendation for sanctions as contained in the relevant laws like N5million or seal off of culprits facilities may not be ruled out.

Though representatives of the oil companies investigative session, made spirited efforts to deny the allegations ,but the committee chaired by Senator Sam Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), declared that facts at its disposal tally with submissions made by the MD of Matreach Logistics .

The facts before us are very clear , the two oil companies must comply with the laws of the land as far as stevedoring activities are concerned in the interest of dock workers and the Nation’s economy.

Recommendation for sanctions as contained in the relevant laws like N5million or seal off of culprits facilities may not be ruled out.

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