The Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) have given the Federal Government a 24 hour ultimatum to withdraw soldiers from the depots and head office of Integrated in Lagos, saying if that is not done, all the depots in the country will be shut down.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the association’s meeting on what they described as invasion of the company by soldiers, Executive Secretary of the union, Barrister Eunuch Kanawa, said the decision to issue that ultimatum was premised on the fact that the action was done in bad faith. The depots and facilities of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited and its head office in Lagos have been manned by military men since September 13 at the instance of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for allegedly receiving stolen petroleum products.
Kanawa wondered why the agency took that decision when other agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Port Authority cleared the same products which were allegedly stolen.
“NIMASA is acting a script dictated by somebody. It is purely outside its statutory duty and has nothing to do with the purpose for which it was set up,” he said.
He added that the action of the agency is “illegal and unlawful and in total disregard for the safety and sensitive nature of such a huge asset in the company”.
He also expressed the association’s concerns over what he described as the physical torture of chairman of the company, Captain Anthony Iheanacho, as well the arrest and detention of staff of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited.
“The association having also considered that its members have been bleeding excessively as a result of the wishful and deliberate policy of the government to withhold subsidy reimbursements views this latest onslaught on one of its own as a carefully scripted agenda by some persons in government to send our members and their employees out of business. Consequently, the association unanimously resolved that if NIMASA does not vacate the depots and facilities of integrated oil and gas limited, including their head office within 24hours, it will have no choice than to close down all depots in the country”, he said.