Indigenous coy drags NCDMB, ExxonMobil to court over abuse of local content
Akwa Ibom based indigenous player in the nation’s oil and gas industry have started internalizing the provisions of the Local Content Act in the industry.
Accordingly, leading indigenous oil servicing group in Akwa Ibom State, Pioneer Divers Int’l (PDI) Limited, has initiated a class action against the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and ExxonMobil Group for alleged infractions against the spirit of the Act.
In the suit with number HEK/96/2019, filed before the Akwa Ibom State High Court in Eket, the plaintiff, PDI, through its lead counsel, Nwabueze Onukogu, alleged that the NCDMB breached the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 having awarded a contract worth over $90m to a foreign company without recourse to indigenous players who have the capacity to deliver in the first instance.
The plaintiff alleged further that ExxonMobil awarded a contract, titled ‘Diving, Topside and ROV,’ in their operations field in Akwa Ibom to Broron Oil and Gas Limited from United States of America in partnership with Subtech in South Africa for $90m.
ExxonMobil, Boron Oil and Gas Limited of the United States of America and Subtech, a company from South Africa, were joined as defendants in the suit.
Onukogu, in his further allegations, claimed that NCDMB apparently conspired with some international oil companies to shortchange Nigerian companies from benefiting from the contract award contrary to the provisions of the Local Content Act 2010.
Accordingly, PDI is praying the court to among other things, award the sum of N100m against the defendants and give an order compelling Mobil Producing Nigeria to cancel an earlier contract award issued to CNS International, an Italian company providing similar services in the oil field.
Date for hearing is yet to be given on the matter.