From Fred Itua, Abuja
Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited (an Italian company registered in Nigeria) has been dragged before the Senate over alleged breach of local content laws in the country.
This was made known through a letter sent to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, by Mr Moboluwaduro Abimbola, a whistleblower who also copied the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC).
According to Mr Abimbola, a few months into the commencement of awarding contracts on the NLNG Train 7 (T7) project, the National Assembly is in receipt of several petitions alleging how Saipem, an Italian company, 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 equally pointed out that, during the groundbreaking 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.
It was further gathered that the National Assembly has commenced investigations into the veracity of the allegations against the Company. Several efforts to ascertain the exact contents of the petitions or identity of the petitioners proved abortive.
The Train 7 project is a $10 billion gas project owned by the Nigerian Liquid and Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and is expected to boost the Nation’s gas capacity by 35%.
It was designed as a dual-feed project with one consortium made up of three companies, that is Messers 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 Authorisation was issued by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on March 22, 2019.
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