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LOCAL CONTENT: A-Ibom indigenous oil firm drags NCDMB, others to court

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By Chioma Onuegbu

Uyo—AN indigenous oil servicing firm in Akwa Ibom State, Pioneer Divers International Limited, has dragged Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, to a state High Court, Eket Judicial Division, for alleged breach of the local content laws.

File: Oil

In the suit number HEK/96/2019, filed by its lead counsel, Nwabueze Onukogu, the indigenous firm alleged that the NCDMB breached the provisions of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.

Joined in the suit as defendants are International oil firms ExxonMobil Producing Nigeria, Boron Oil and Gas Ltd of the United States of America and Subtech company from South Africa.

Pioneer Divers International Ltd alleged that NCDMB conspired with the International Oil firms to shortchange Nigerian oil companies from benefiting in contract award which could help indigenous firms to acquire the needed skill to take over operations in oil and gas industry sector as envisaged in the local content Act, 2010.

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The plaintiff claimed that Mobil producing Nigeria had awarded a contract titled “Diving, Topside and ROV’s in their operations field in Akwa Ibom to Boron Oil and Gas Ltd of United States of America in partnership with Subtech in South Africa at the rate of $90 million.

The firm argued that the services would have been executed by indigenous companies, but the first defendant, NCDMB, had recommended that Boron oil of United States and Subtech of South Africa, third and fourth defendants respectively to ExxonMobil producing Nigeria for the award.

The plaintiff said such recommendation by NCDMB was a violation of local content laws of Nigeria which they were supposed to protect, safeguard and implement for the benefit of local companies operating in the oil industry to protect them against foreign competitors.

In the writ of summons made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo, the Pioneer Divers International Limited is seeking for the declaration that the defendants have breached the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act , 2010.

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