Tanker companies will increasingly avoid Nigeria unless it ends its pursuit of owners over years of unpaid taxes, Intertanko said on Monday.

The trade body, which represents about 180 companies behind more than 4,000 crude, product, gas and chemical tankers, called on the authorities to scrap a campaign seeking 13 years of freight back payments for overseas operators.

Owners first raised concerns in May after receiving letters from Nigeria’s Inland Revenue demanding payment of taxes from 2010 to 2019 plus penalties and interest, apparently based on a largely ignored law from 2004.