…As Ministry clears air on operator compliance
Chevron Nigeria Limited has been ranked lowest in order of commitment to Nigerian Content among six International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
According to the survey report made available by the facilitator, Borderless-Company Limited by Guarantee- A Nigerian Content Advocacy Group, ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’ Survey and Nigerian Content Development Perception Index (NCPDI) is to raise awareness and promote greater commitment towards Nigerian content development.
The report signed on behalf of Borderless by Mr. Dotun Adebayo, said the survey generated feedback from a cross-section of indigenous oil and gas companies on how the Nigerian content Act can be better implemented.
Other results in the NCPDI listed Shell as coming tops, followed by Addax, ExxonMobil, Agip(NAOC) and Total in that order.
On the outcome of the survey, Borderless highlighted funding gap as a major constraint by most indigenous players and want less of cumbersome access to the Nigerian Content Development Fund. While applauding the launch of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, it said operators are yet to feel its impact and want greater clarity and awareness on how to access the fund.
‘‘As developmental partners, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is seen to have performed poorly in assisting indigenous companies. Also as regulators, NCDMB has also performed poorly. It is seen as failing to effectively and/or sufficiently monitor IOCs’ activities, and/or lagging behind in its enforcement role
NCDMB is too opaque in its dealings. It should readily make information accessible to the public for greater transparency and in ensuring Nigerian content compliance by IOCs,’’ the survey stated.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Justice has said that its letter to Borderless on Freedom of Information request regarding operator compliance was not to compel NCDMB in any way to release the information being sought.
A letter to the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, signed by the State Counsel (FOI Unit) Mr. Ayo Bakare, explained that under the FOI Act, the Ministry is not to compel public institutions on how to determine request for information, adding that, that is why Section 20 of the Act provides for Judicial Review of FOI Request, where such request is denied.
The Ministry’s clarification is coming on the heels of a letter earlier written to NCDMB by the Director of Bordeless, who is also the Principal partner at Kusamotu Associates, Mr. Tunde Kusamotu, requesting for the local content law compliance level by Shell, Exxonmobil, Total Upstream, Addax, NAOC and Chevron Nigeria Limited under the FOI Act.
‘‘To set the records straight, the Ministry’s letter under reference was not to compel the Board in any way to release the information being sought. One of the oversight responsibilities of the Attorney General of the Federation under the Act is to ensure that public institutions deal with FOI requests in line with the provisions of the Act,’’ the letter from the Ministry read.