Local Content: TOTAL, NAPIMS in Messy Vessel Contract Irregularities
….i was offered bribed to back out – Committee chair
Senate Committee on local content on Tuesday mandated Total Nigeria and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPTIMS) to immediately resume bidding to include local vessel contractors left out in initial tendering opportunity that was canceled.
This is even as the chairman of the committee, senator Solomon Olamiken revealed that he was offered a vessel as bribe to back out of the matter.
Based on Senate directives the committee is considering a petition from Indeginous Vessel Contractors accusing Total Nigeria and NAPTIMS of excluding their members from the process after 4 years to pave way for other bigger local vessel operators where TOTAL Nigeria and NAPTIMS allegely have vested interest.
It was alleged that a director in TOTAL Nigeria who wants to corner the contract and had gone ahead to register a vessel.
Lawmakers frowned at these alleged irregularities which they believe violate extant laws in the oil and gas sector as well as the Procurement laws.
Executive Director, Corporate Services TOTAL Nigeria Abiodun Afolabi denies any wrongdoing, claiming that his company has not in any way violated the law in the handling of the tender initiated since 2012.
He said there was a need to change strategy because of the long gestation period it takes for contracts in the oil sector to be completed.
Rather than pacify the lawmakers, the explanation angered the lawmakers the more especially when TOTAL Nigeria had earlier certified the Indeginous Vessel Contractors as technically and commercially qualified for the contracts.
Director General NAPIMS, Roland Evbere who is relatively new on the job appealed for 6 to 9 months to sanitize the process including eliminating “portfolio local contractors in the business value chain.
Senate resolved in the spirit of fairness that Total Nigeria should to strongly consider the local vessel contractors it believed were unjustly left to be accommodated in the next round of bidding.
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