A group of young professionals have raised an alarm over what it described as colossal attempt by foreign companies with the intent to instigate massive corruption and further undermine existing local content laws in Nigeria through what the group termed contract manipulation and advanced form of bribery which, it says, has caused an increase in youth unemployment and led to massive capital flight with thousands of jobs created for young South Koreans with Nigerian resources.
It warned that governments’ drive to attract foreign direct investment may be damaged by these dubious companies.
It stated that if the unfolding activity of some of these companies is allowed, Nigeria will suffer the worse kind of economic sabotage never seen before, as it says that some of these companies have mastered the act of bypassing due process, ignoring existing local content law and disregarding national interest for their corporate gains, which amounts to sabotage of the national economy.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Friday , Moses Siloko Siasia, Chairman of Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, NYPF, Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive of Connected Development, CODE, and Ahmed Adamu, Pioneer Chairperson of Commonwealth Youth Council and representatives of Civil Society Groups, alleged that in June 2013, NNPC/Total awarded the contract for the EPC to build $3.8Billion Egina FPSO to Samsung Heavy Industries despite the fact that Hyundai Heavy Industries was recommended by Total for the project and was lowest bidder. According to the statement, immediately after the award and throughout the project there has been outcry from several stakeholders.
They further alleged that since the award of the contract to Samsung, the company has collected hundreds of millions of variations of 20% of Contract value, with no local content in it. That Samsung Heavy Industries current attempt to advocate for a new variation will be stopped.
The statement reads in part “Over the past five years, there has been investigations by several government agencies like EFCC, Department of State Security and even the National Assembly with attempt to unravel the irregular manner by which Samsung was able to win the contract but the findings of these bodies have not been published, but it is believed as it is obvious that Samsung allegedly paid bribes in the region of $50million to win the contract”.
“It is our considered opinion that this contract award to Samsung is highly irregular and must be thoroughly investigated to avoid a replay of a scenario similar to Halliburton bribery scandal which may be a child’s play compared to this particular contract given the amount of under hand dealings engaged in by Samsung”.
The group noted that oil companies are now planning an additional 5 FPSOs for Nigeria and that Samsung Heavy Industries has clearly used its bribes in the Egina project to minimise its use of local content, and that the yard it eventually built in Nigeria was built after its Nigerian partners took it, Samsung, to court.
They also alleged that Samsung succeeded in diverting hundreds of millions of dollars in variations to South Korea. It challenged the President Buhari led government to make an example with Samsung by sending them out of Nigeria and ban them from participating in future projects to ensure that, in the future, foreign companies do not take advantage of Nigeria to divert fund, inflate contracts and bribe officials to the detriment of young Nigerians who are denied jobs and basic means of livelihood as a result of acts of gross criminality as in the case of Samsung.
The group also said they are mobilising other interest groups to move to submit a detailed petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and National Assembly on Tuesday 28th August 2018.