By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe the contracting of vessels by foreign oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria.
The investigation is to determine whether the processes of contracting vessels by the oil firms complied with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.
This was however sequel to a motion sponsored by Hon. Daniel Reyenieju (Delta/PDP) complaining about the exclusion of local shipping owners by the foreign oil and gas companies in the award of maritime contracts.
In his submission, Reyenieju said the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 was enacted to ensure a measurable growth of Nigerian content in the oil and gas exploration processes.
He explained that Section 12 of the Act provides that first consideration be given to Nigerian companies in the evaluation of bids for goods and services required for projects by oil and gas companies.
“Section 15 of the Act requires all operators and alliance partners to give full and fair opportunities to indigenous contractors and companies in the award of contracts,” the lawmaker stated.
He expressed concern that indigenous shipping companies had spent money to procure vessels which were now lying un-utilized at the ports as the international oil companies and multi-national companies refused to engage their services.
The House member further expressed worry that the international oil companies would rather engage the services of foreign vessels that were not flying the Nigerian flag and sometimes working through Nigerian companies as fronts.
The lawmaker called for an end to the flagrant violation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 by multi-national oil and gas companies doing business in Nigeria.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to voice vote by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The House thereafter mandated its committee on local content to ensure the investigation covers from 2010 till date.