NCDMB Management Quizzed By Senate Over Alleged Breach Of Local Content Laws

NCDMB Management Quizzed By Senate Over Alleged Breach Of Local Content Laws.

The Senate Committee on Local Content questioned the management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on Wednesday over alleged violations of local content regulations in the implementation of SAIPEM’s $10 billion Train 7 gas project.

SAIPEM is an Italian multinational oil field services business that is the primary contractor for the Train 7 project.

Based on petitions filed against SAIPEM, the committee launched an inquiry.

Senator Teslim Folarin, the committee’s chairman, summoned the NCDMB’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, for alleged regulatory incompetence.

Folarin stated at the start of the investigation hearing on Wednesday that the summons to the NCDMB was based on SAIPEM’s purported failure to defend charges of infringement of local content regulations in the execution of the project contract.

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The lawmaker said, “SAIPEM appeared before this committee in December last year on alleged violations of local content laws in the execution of the $10bn Train 7 Project without any convincing defensive submissions.

“The management of the construction firm failed to defend any of the allegations made against it by the petitioners as far as adherence to local content laws is concerned.

“Failure of SAIPEM to speak convincingly to the petitions led to the appearance of management of NCDMB before us today, being the regulatory agency monitoring the implementation of the local content laws.”

After nearly two hours of closed-door meetings with NCDMB management, the committee concluded that the board’s submissions were unsatisfactory.

Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, Vice-Chairman of the Committee and Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, told media following the hearing that NCDMB will come before the panel again on Tuesday.

He said, “Submissions made by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB before the committee at the closed-door session were unsatisfactory by grossly lacking in facts and figures.

“In ensuring thoroughness in the investigation of the allegations made against SAIPEM, and by extension regulatory negligence on the part of NCDMB, the committee has directed the agency to reappear before it next week Tuesday.

“We are being cautious in coming up with a report on the investigation because issues involved are very sensitive to the Nation’s economy and development.”

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