Executive Secretary, of Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Ernest Nwapa, has warned that the Board would sanction international oil companies that flout the Nigerian Local Content law.
Reacting to ongoing faceoff between Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company Plc, a wholly-owned Nigerian company, over a maintenance contract on the Obo/Kwale/ Ebocha gas plant, Nwapa said although his office has not received any formal complaints from any of the parties involved, the agency will sanction proven cases of abuse of the Local Content Act.
He said: “I’m yet to be briefed formally on the issue involving Agip and Arco Petroleum Engineering and so I cannot make a judgment on the matter until the claims from the two parties are substantiated by the Board. There has to be enough evidence before the Board can act on the issue.
“In the past when something like this happened, the affected companies came to us and thereafter, we took steps to resolve them. But as I’m talking to you, I have not been briefed on the issue and it would not be good for me to make judgment on the pages of newspapers.”
He said the Board has the right to sanction erring operators after the issue has been investigated.
‘‘Agip knows that it can be sanctioned if found guilty, so also other foreign-owned companies that disobey the Local Content laws. The Board is set up to protect local companies and will continue to do that.’’ he added.
In the said altercation, Arco Petroleum is alleging that Federal Government’s drive to involve local oil firms in the operations of the country’s oil and gas sector is being threatened by some oil majors that are bent on maintaining the status quo by denying indigenous companies their rightful role in the industry as provided in the Nigerian Local Content Law.
It had alleged that some foreign companies, including, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and General Electric (GE), are working against the provision and the intent of the Local Content Act, by their attempt to edge it out of an existing gas turbines and equipment maintenance contract working agreement.
The intent of the scheme, the firm said was to introduce, Plantgeria Nigeria Limited, another foreign firm to take over its job
The source explained that the object of contention is the Obob/Kwale/Ebocha Gas Plant Rotating Equipment Maintenance Contract, involving Nuovo Pignone, GE and ARCO.
Source : SunOnline