NLNG, NCDMB, others shun Senate over alleged breach of Local Content Act
By Peter Usman://
Four organisations handling the Train -7 Gas project have refused to honour invitation by the Senate Committee on Local Content over issues relating to alleged breach of Local Content Act on implementation of the project.
The organisations, which are the operators and promoters of the Train 7 Gas project, are the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG; Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Saipem and Daewoo.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central), who decried non appearance of the chief executives or representatives of the organisations, while addressing journalists, said there were petitions against the running and the promoters of Train -7 Gas project.
According to him, there are lot of pressures to escalate the matter to an investigative hearing.
Senator Folarin, however, said the committee thought it would be nice to hear from the four organisations involved, hence their invitation.
“We invited the four of them today, but as you can see, non of them honoured our invitation,” he said.
Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North) while speaking further on the position of the committee said the matter boarded on implementation of Nigeria’s local content policy.
Senator Abdullahi said Train 7 Gas project, which centred on increasig the nation’s output on liquified natural gas was an issue that was critical, given the increasing price of cooking gas in the country.
He said given the huge deposite of gas, the National Assembly was interested on how the companies could make life meaningful to Nigerians in their participation on the Train 7 project and on increasing the local capacity.
The lawmaker said the Senate had invited the companies to know what was happening on implementation of the project, but they had all surreptitiously failed to honour the Senate’s invitation.
He said the committee resolved that given non appearance of the four organisations on the next invitation slated for December 2, the committee would excalate the matter to a full public investigation.
The Deputy Senate Chief Whip said the attitude of the four organisations was an insult on the parliament as a whole, as they found it convienient on themselves not to appear before the Senate Committee.
Senator Abdullahi said the parliament would not abdicate its responsibility of ensuring compliance to set local content rules and regulations, noting that it was committed to ensuring success of the Train 7 Gas project.
According to him, it was the duty of the parliament to ensure that Nigerians were not short changed and taken for granted, while expressing hope that the concerned organisations would honour the next invitation slated for December 2.
He declared that with all the challenges of the economy, the matter was not what the Senate would fold its arms and allow Nigerians to be short changed on the project.
He, however, said the Train 7 Gas project was an attempt by the NLNG to increase Nigeria’s output from the current level to tap from the abundant natural gas resources in the country.
Senator Abdullahi, who did not disclose further details, on the partitions against the companies given its sensitive nature, said the committee would want to hear from the organisations. He said it was too early to give further details until after engaging the companies.