FG Suspends West African Ventures from Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry


Ejiofor Alike

The federal government has suspended West African Ventures (WAV) from participating in ongoing and future tenders in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry for violating the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010, better known as the Nigerian Content Act.

The government has also directed ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Total E&P, Addax Petroleum and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to stop doing business with the company because of their frequent and flagrant disregard of the provisions of the NOGICD Act.
WAV is a provider of offshore engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and vessel charter services in the oil and gas industry.

THISDAY however gathered that the company allegedly violated the Nigerian Content law and also frustrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to build local capacity in the oil and gas industry and create jobs for Nigerians.

In the letters addressed to each of the managing directors of the international oil companies (IOCs), the acting Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah informed the IOCs that WAV had failed to respond to the agency’s notices with adequate evidence to show compliance to the Nigerian Content Act.

In his letter to the Managing Director of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, comprising Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited, Obah said in view of WAV’s fragrant abuse of Nigerian laws, the agency had no option than to initiate sanctions against the company.

The letter with reference number NCDMB/ES/18/16 also directed ExxonMobil to suspend consideration of WAV in ongoing and future tendering processes with immediate effect.

The NCDMB also sent similar letters to Chevron Nigeria Limited with reference number: NCDMB/ES/17/16 dated June 9, 2019, as well as Addax, Agip and Total.

The President of the company, Mr. Jacques Roomans, was outside the country and messages sent to him by THISDAY seeking the company’s official response were returned undelivered.
When contacted, the Secretary to the President, Mr. Johnson Mgbemena, told THISDAY that the Company Secretary would provide official response but no response was received despite several reminders.

However, an official of the company, who was not authorised to speak on the matter told THISDAY that the company was collaborating with NCDMB to address the issues.

A source at NCDMB also accused WAV of gross violations of Sections 28, 33 and 41 (2) of the NOGICD Act 2010 and deploying non-compliant assets and expatriates.

According to him, the company is flooded with expatriates who do not have approvals from the board and whose roles can easily be performed by Nigerians.