Depot operators under the aegis of Petroleum Products Depot Owners Association (PPDOA) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to order the reopening of the Waziri Jetty, which was closed controversially.The group also extended the appeal to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and the National Assembly, urging them to compel the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to reopen the jetty located along the Dockyard Road, Apapa.
According to the Executive Secretary of association, Patricia Okereke, a grave injustice is being perpetrated against members’ businesses. She said that despite subsisting court injunctions, the Port Manager, Apapa Ports Complex, Olufunmilayo Olotu, went ahead to lease Waziri Jetty to Leader Marketing Company, thus preventing PPDOA members from accessing it for their petroleum businesses.
“Olotu closed the Waziri Jetty in flagrant disobedience to a subsisting court injunction protecting our business from such debilitating and wanton action. The port manager has taken up illegalities against this injunction, which mandated that NPA, its agents, and/or assigns should not lease out the common user facility and should not interfere with our petroleum business by preventing use and/or access to the jetty,” Okeke said.
She said that to date, the vessels belonging to the PPDOA members are being prevented from using the jetty waterfront while Leader Marketing Company, which has partnered Clarion Shipping, a container company, has been given full access to utilise the jetty land for business.
The executive secretary explained that the court injunction was issued in 2007 when the members of the association protested against an attempt by the NPA to frustrate their businesses by leasing the asset.
She added that the manager’s action now requires that users would seek permission before using the facility for discharge operations.
Okereke said despite several letters from PPDOA reminding Olotu of the existing court injunction against her actions, she has remained adamant. She stressed that the action of the port manager has also endangered lives as members of the association can no longer service their pipes to guide against rust and fire.
Efforts to get Olotu’s response did not yield a result as she did not pick or return her calls. She did not also respond to message sent via SMS and WhatsApp.