Whistleblower Writes Senate, ICPC, Accuses Saipem of Breaching Local Content Law

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Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu in Abuja

A whistle-blower, Mr Moboluwaduro Abimbola has written to the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan and the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC), accusing Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited of breaching local content law.

In its letter, the whistle-blower alleged that Italian firm refused to involve indigenous companies in processes of awarding contracts on the NLNG Train 7 (T7) project.

The Train 7 project is a $10billion gas project owned by the Nigerian Liquid and Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and is expected to boost the Nation’s gas capacity by 35 percent.

It was designed as a dual-feed project with one consortia made up of three companies, that is Messer: Saipem, Daewoo and Chyonda involved in the delivery of one feed.

The Nigerian Content Plan for the Train-7 project was approved and a Certificate of Authorization issued by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on the March 22, 2019.

In the letter, Abimbola said few months into the commencement of the project, the National Assembly is in receipt of several petitions alleging how Saipem, who is the principal partner in the delivery of the project, has created a system whereby qualified Nigerian companies are excluded in the bidding and award process of contracts, which local content laws has deliberately reserved for Nigerians to benefit from.

He also said during the ground breaking ceremony conducted by President Muhammad Buhari in July this year, the said project is expected to create over 12000 direct and 1.2million indirect jobs, with millions of dollars’ worth of activities and contracts within the Train 7 project, executed by Nigerians.

While claiming that the National Assembly has commenced investigations into the veracity of the allegations against the Company, he added that several efforts to ascertain the exact contents of the petitions or identity of the petitioners proved abortive.