Local Content: Senate Flays NCDMB over $10bn Gas Project

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Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The Senate Committee on Local Content yesterday accused the management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB)of alleged breach of local content laws.

The panel accused the board of alleged dereliction of duty in its supervision of the $10bn Train 7 gas project being executed by SAIPEM.

SAIPEM ( S.P.A ), is an Italian Multinational Oil Field Services Company serving as the principal contractor involved in executing the Train 7 Project .

The Senate Committee chaired by Senator Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central) based on petitions written against SAIPEM, summoned the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote for interface on perceived regulatory negligence .

The summons as stated by Senator Teslim Folarin at the beginning of the investigative session , was sequel to failure of SAIPEM to defend allegations of violations of local content laws in the execution of the $10bn gas project contract.

He said: “SAIPEM appeared before this committee in December last year on alleged violations of local content laws in the execution of the $10bn Train 7 Project without any convincing defensive submissions.

“The management of the construction firm failed to defend any of the allegations made against it by the petitioners as far as adherence to local content laws is concerned .

“ Failure of SAIPEM to speak convincingly to the petitions , led to the appearance of management of NCDMB before us today being the regulatory agency monitoring the implementation of the local content laws,” he said .

After about two hours closed door session with the NCDMB management , the committee , declared that the board’s submissions were unsatisfactory .

Addressing journalists after the session , the Deputy Whip of the Senate, who doubles as Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi ( APC Niger North ) , said NCDMB was to re – appear before the Committee on Tuesday next week .

He said: “Submissions made by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB befofe the committee at the closed door Session, were unsatisfactory by grossly lacking in facts and figures .

“In ensuring thoroughness on investigation of allegations made against SAIPEM and by extension, regulatory negligence on the part of NCDMB, the committee has directed the agency to re – appear before it next week Tuesday .

“We are being cautious in coming up with report on the investigation because issues involved are very sensitive to the Nation’s economy and development,” he said .