A Civil Society and Accountability group Nigerians for Accountability & Good Governance (NAGG) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari over allege attempt by Italian Company, SAIPEM, to violate the Nigerian Content Act despite query handed the company by Engr. Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The group is asking that the NCDMB should be compelled to make public the disciplinary actions taken against multinational oil and gas corporations who violates Nigeria laws with impunity.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB)had in a query with reference number NCDMB/MED/DS/20/050 and dated October 2,2021 and titled Notice of Non-Compliance with the NOGICD ACT,2010: PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIESON THE NLNG TRAIN -7(NLNGT-7) PROJECT” accused Saipen of carrying out non-compliant procurement processes towards directly engaging foreign vendors thereby sidelining qualified Nigerian vendors in violation of the NOFICD Act and contrary to the commitments made to the Board and signed off in the NLNG 17 Nigerian Content Compliance Certificate.
But the Probity and Accountability group, Nigerians for Accountability & Good Governance (NAGG) in a statement issued yesterday argued that though the query was issued two months ago, the outcome have allegedly been kept under the wrap in a clear attempts to quash the query and its outcome by some powerful forces within the Federal Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The group in the statement signed by its National Secretary, Alhaji Salami Abubakar , said the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, through the Executive Secretary Simbi Wabote to release the outcome of the query is due to the fact that the action of Saipem violate the Nigerian content law.
According to the group, ”The query raised very serious allegations against the Italian company, where it is accused of grossly violating Nigeria’s content law by procuring materials for the LNG Bonny Train 7 Projects in Italy at the detriment of Nigeria manufacturers. Since after the query, nothing has been heard. This leaves the public with no other option than to believe the allegations being circulated in the media that money has allegedly exchanged hands between both parties”.
“The group which has been championing transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s public sector through its communication director Salami Abubakar, stated that the public is interested in knowing what the NCDMB is hiding, and why are the correspondences and responses of the query to Saipem hidden? Why is Saipem not punished for the violation? Why are they still in the contracts for the Bonny LNG train 7 project? This is why we strongly believe that NCDMB and its head have not been honest with the Nigerian people or the Bonny kingdom who first raised the alarm”.
According to Abubakar, “the people of Bonny Kingdom who are the host community for the Bonny LNG train 7 Project in the Niger Delta region are being deprived of their Kingdom’s 30% stake from the $12 billion project as stated in the project’s agreements due to the lack of transparency and accountability as public questions and opinions are being stifled. He cautioned against public officials use of bullying and intimidation tactics against rational voices and discussions of issues surrounding the multibillion dollars Bonny LNG train 7 Project”.
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