MT Navigator Capricorn, a Liberian-registered vessel which is on lease to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited (the Vessel), began operation in Nigeria in October 2018. The Vessel supplies Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to Lagos for the licensed off-takers appointed by NLNG for distribution within the domestic market. The operation of the Vessel is crucial to the supply of cooking gas in Nigeria given that it supplies LPG to the Apapa axis from where more than 80 per cent of LPG supply to Nigeria is distributed to depots across the country.
In furtherance of its mandate/powers under the Cabotage Act 2003 (the Act), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) sometime in October 2018 informed the owner/charterer of the Vessel of its noncompliance with certain requirements the Act, and gave a 90-day grace period for the owners/charterers of the Vessel to bring it in compliance with the provisions of the Act. The Vessel’s non-compliance was not cured within the grace period and despite the Vessel’s crucial operations, its detention was ordered by NIMASA.