Energy

Whistleblower writes Senate, ICPC over breach of local content law by Italian company

A whistleblower, 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 (an Italian company registered in Nigeria) of breaching local content law due to its refusal 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 per cent. It was designed as a dual-feed project with one consortium made up of three companies, 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 was issued by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on the 22nd of March, 2019.

In the letter, Abimbola said that few months into the commencement of the project, the National Assembly was in receipt of several petitions alleging how Saipem, who is the principal partner in the delivery of the project, had created a system whereby qualified Nigerian companies were 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 groundbreaking ceremony conducted by President Muhammadu Buhari in July, the said project was 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.

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