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Groups threaten civil action against alleged violation of local content laws

Groups threaten civil action against alleged violation of local content laws

- Some pressure groups have called for probe due to alleged violation of local content laws

- The groups are the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and Connected Development (CODE)

- Both groups said the Egina FPSO contract awarded to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is fraudulent

The Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and Connected Development (CODE) have called for probe due to alleged violation of local content laws by some going concerns.

In a joint statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, September 26, both demanded that the federal government commences a holistic investigation into the allegation.

The statement was signed by the leaders of the groups; Moses Siloko Siasia, chairman of NYPF, and Hamzat Lawal, chief executive of CODE.

The groups were reacting to the move between the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), and Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI), to reach a settlement, stressing that it considers it an attempt to abandon local content and the defense of national interest over the dispute on Egina FPSO.

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They insisted government go ahead with the probe and sanction of SHI, an action it describes as “very timely and important step towards protecting Nigeria from further exploitation by SHI.”

The groups threatened that if the federal government fails to initiate action with regards to the probe, it would have no option but to mobilize youths from all over Nigeria to the Presidential Villa for a civil protest.

The statement reads in part: “Our position is that the Egina FPSO contract awarded to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is fraudulent, ab initio and in all its ramifications.

“Secondly, in executing this contract, SHI has consistently violated the local content laws and, accordingly, further jeopardized the already delicate unemployment situation in Nigeria.

“For these reasons and more, we demand that the federal government should commence a comprehensive probe of Samsung Heavy Industries.

“If after one week we don’t see any action from the federal government to bring SHI to justice, we shall mobilize all youth groups across Nigeria to occupy the Presidential Villa until something is done.”

Although, SHI currently operates the Fabrications and Integration Yard (SHI-MCI Yard) in LADOL’s free zone which is used to integrate the Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which has sailed over 200.000 barrels per day Egina oilfield, the company has come under severe criticisms from different interest groups for fraudulently winning the contract, in the first place, and for not executing the terms of the contract in total compliance with the local content laws and violation of several other essential contract terms.

According to the groups, the recent action by their local content partner LADOL has opened a new vista into the entire contract saga demanding that the federal government must now step in to reevaluate the process of contract award, the gross violations by SHI and put in motion executive and legislative action necessary to stop SHI from further violation of existing laws.

The group stated that it believes that the federal government led by President Muhammed Buhari will take appropriate actions, noting that, “no responsible government, as in the case of most oil producing countries, will see such outcry from citizens and keep mute.”

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A month ago, some civil society organisations called on the federal government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to revisit the $3.8 billion (N1.36 trillion) oil field project.

The groups said the birth of the Total Egina oil field which included the acceleration of the pace of Nigeria’s industrial fabric and the transfer of technology, has made thousands of youths to lose their jobs.

Speaking at a briefing in Abuja, leaders of the group alleged that foreign contractors had instigated mind-boggling corruption in Nigeria.

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Source: Legit.ng

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