The Senate on Wednesday frowned at the activities of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) over an alleged breach of local content laws being carried out by SAIPEM in the execution of the $10billion Train 7 gas project.
Relying on petitions written against SAIPEM, the Senate Committee led by Senator Teslim Folarin ( APC Oyo Central), summoned Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engineer Simbi Wabote for a discussion on perceived regulatory negligence.
SAIPEM (S.P.A) is an Italian Multinational Oil Field Services Company acting as the principal contractor involved in executing the Train 7 Project.
The summoning according to Senator Folarin was a sequel to the failure of SAIPEM to defend allegations of violations of local content laws in the execution of the $10billion gas project contract.
“SAIPEM appeared before this committee in December last year on alleged violations of local content laws in the execution of the $10billion 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.”
He added that SAIPEM’s failure to speak convincingly to the petitions led to the appearance of management of NCDMB before us today is the regulatory agency monitoring the implementation of the local content laws”, he said.
But after about two hours of a closed-door Session with the NCDMB management, the committee declared that its submissions were unsatisfactory.
In a post-session interview with the media, the Deputy Whip of the Senate who doubles as Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi ( APC Niger North ), said NCDMB is to reappear before the Committee on Tuesday next week.
“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 on the investigation of 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 “, he said.