Business is booming.

Firm laments plight of indigenous companies in Oil and Gas sector

Appreciable progress in the legal and regulatory framework to promote Nigerians’ participation in the oil and gas business notwithstanding, indigenous firms still face uphill tasks in participating in the business, an indigenous firm has declared.

Mr Shedrack Ogboru, the Managing Director of the firm told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa on Monday that foreigners still dominated the business in spite of concerted efforts by the Federal Government to encourage Nigerians’ participation.

He expressed regret that international oil companies still made the business uncompetitive for Nigerians even after dominating the scene for more than 60 years.

He cited an example of his company’s “frustration’’ by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), which refused to settle a N95m obligation on a contract it performed satisfactorily.

He said that the debt was a ploy to force the local firm into bankruptcy alleging that its base at the NLNG premise in Bonny Island in Rivers had been destroyed by the host company.

Ogboru lamented that the NLNG demolished his company’s facility to give way to a fencing project without first resolving the dispute in spite of the intervention of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Mr Any Odeh, Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at the NLNG, however, dismissed the claims as ridiculous saying that the contract was terminated for non-performance.

“The company was awarded the contract for access control to the Central Control Room, Laboratory, Shutdown Village and Gas Plant Area Improvement in 2014.

“After a competitive tender process it got the contract based on its technical and commercial submissions as well as possession of financial capability and standing to deliver within the stipulated timeframe to the expected standards and stipulations,

“The contract was signed between NLNG and the company with 18 months delivery schedule beginning from January 2014.

“The company was unable to execute the project on schedule in spite of several interventions by the NLNG to help it to overcome its inability to finance the project.

“It should be stated clearly that it was on this ground of non-performance, not on any act or omission attributable to NLNG or any of its personnel, that the contract was terminated in November 2015, after the date stipulated for its completion

“Upon termination, the company was paid N41.2m for work it was able to accomplish and the materials it elected to handover to NLNG during the close-out process.

“Therefore, there is no truth in its claims that it was denied any payment,’’ Odeh explained. (NAN)

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