By Godwin Oritse
THE National Association of Stevedoring Companies has said that International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria do not declare the accurate volume of exports of crude oil from Nigeria.
To this end, the group has proposed to assist the government monitor the accurate measurement of crude oil export from the various terminals across the country.
In an interview with Vanguard Maritime Report, the group’s President, Mr. Bolaji Sumonu, said that oil producing and exporting companies are short changing Nigerian government daily by under declaring volumes of crude oil produced and shipped through fraudulent measuring.
He stated: “It is the figures the various International Oil Companies, IOCs, takes back to government that the government accepts.
“What we are saying is that let there be an independent body to ensure that accurate measurement of crude oil export is stated and documented.
“This is the job of a stevedore. In the discharge and loading of cargo, stevedore will take proper records and give accurate figures because you are not at the export terminal.
“We have made a proposal to government and we are still discussing.
“We are not coming directly, we are saying that there are areas of operations where stevedores are not covering and which they must cover now because this is very important.
“We are looking at some jetties that are not covered by government and we are also looking at the proliferations of arms in some of these jetties.
“The owners of the jetties are the ones discharging and we do not know what they discharge, only the jetty owner knows what is being discharged”.
Sumonu explained that stevedoring is part of the core area of the maritime industry, lamenting that what is obtaining in Nigeria is a far cry from what obtains in other maritime countries.
“Stevedoring operations is safe and secure handling, discharging and cargo off-loading. We handle all sorts of products, wet, dry and general cargoes.
“We work on the vessel to ensure that cargoes are discharged professionally and laden professionally”, he stated.