The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Cross River, has agreed to consider a request for the supply of fuel to fishermen in Bakassi local government area.
Mr George Ene-Ita, Regional Coordinator of NMDPRA, South South, gave the consent when the Chairman of Bakassi local government area, Mr Iyadim Iyadim, led a delegation of fishermen to his office to seek for the approval.
Ene-Ita told the Chairman and his delegation in Calabar that he would write a proposal to the management of NMDPRA with a view of brining all critical stakeholders to deliberate on the matter.
According to him, the cross border smuggling which has taken another dimension has necessitated the government to take a drastic approach by promulgating a policy of prohibiting fuel stations located 25km to the border from lifting petroleum product.
“The policy is a temporal remedial measure to curb cross border smuggling.
“In the interim, approval will be given and the modalities of the approval will be worked out by the NMDPRA regional office.
“Such approval will be subjected to the condition of holding the communities representatives accountable for any breach of product,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman told the Regional Coordinator of NMDPRA that the activities of fishermen in the coastal communities had collapse.
He added that their source of livelihood was fishing, hence the fishermen needed fuel to power their boats.
According to him, the government’s policy of prohibiting fuel stations located 25km to the border from lifting petroleum products has impacted negatively on the lives of the communities.
“At this point, the only option available to us is to travel from Bakassi to Calabar to source for petroleum product and in most cases, our people usually have problems with security agents.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation floating station which was supposed to serve the coastal communities has not been operational for years now,” he said.