An indigenous oil servicing firm in Akwa Ibom State, The Pioneer Divers Int'l Ltd, has sued Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for alleged breach of local content law.
Joined in the suit as defendants are ExxonMobil, Boron Oil and Gas Ltd of United States of America and Subtech Company from South Africa.
The plaintiff, through it lawyer Nwabueze Onukogu, alleged that NCDMB breached the provisions of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.
He further alleged that the NCDMB conspired with some International Oil companies, such as ExxonMobil, to short-change Nigerian companies from benefiting in the contract award which could facilitate transfer of technology that would help indigenous firms to acquire needed skill to take over oil industry operations in Nigeria as envisaged in the local content Act, 2010.
He claimed that Mobil producing Nigeria awarded a contract titled 'Diving, Topside and ROV's' in their operations field in Akwa Ibom to Broron Oil and Gas Ltd of United States of America in partnership with Subtech in South Africa at $90 million.
According to him, the services would have been executed by local companies but the first defendant (NCDMB) recommended the third and fourth (Broron oil of United States and Subtech of South Africa) defendants to Mobil for the award which the first defendant (Mobil producing Nigeria) obliged.
Such recommendation, according to him, violated the content laws of Nigeria which it should protect, safeguard and implement for the benefit of local companies operating in the oil industry to protect them against foreign competitors.
In the writ of summons, the plaintiff sought for a court declaration that the defendants have breached the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (NOGICD Act) as provided.
'There shall be exclusive consideration of Nigeria indigenous companies of which the plaintiff is, and demonstrate ownership of equipment, Nigeria personnel and capacity to execute any work to bid on land and contract services including Diving, ROVs and Topside as contained in the Act,' Onukogu argued.
The plaintiff also prayed the court to award N100,000,000 as damages in relief having established that the defendants have failed in their duty as enshrined in the law.
Onukogu also sought for an order of court compelling Mobil producing Nigeria to cancel an earlier contract award issued to CNS International, an Italian company providing similar services in their oil field.
The case was adjourned till May 20 for hearing.
© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan