Joe Effiong, Uyo,
An indigenous oil servicing company in Akwa Ibom, The Pioneer Divers Int’l Ltd, has dragged the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the oil giant, Mobil Producing Nigeria, to court for alleged breach of local content laws.
In a suit number HEK/96/2019, filed at the High Court of Akwa Ibom in Eket Judicial Division, the plaintiff, through its lead counsel Nwabueze Onukogu, argued that NCDMB has breached the provisions of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 by awarding the contract worth over S90 dollars to a foreign company
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 said the court that the Nigerian Development Content and Monitoring Board had conspired with some International Oil Companies to shortchange Nigerian companies from benefiting in a contract award.
He alleged the said contract could facilitate the 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.
The plaintiff claimed that Mobil producing Nigeria had awarded a contract titled “Diving, Topside and ROV’s in their operations field in Akwa Ibom to Boron Oil and Gas Ltd of United States of America in partnership with Subtech in South Africa at the rate of $90m dollars.
The plaintiff said such recommendation by Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board was a violation of content laws which were to protect, safeguard and implement for the benefit of local companies operating in the oil industry against foreign competitors.
In the writ of summons made available to our Daily, the plaintiff is seeking 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 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, ” he argued.
The plaintiff also prayed the court to award the sum of N100, 000,000as damages in relief having established that the defendants have failed in their duty as enshrined in the law.
The plaintiff, through their counsel, also sought for an order of the court compelling Mobil producing Nigeria to cancel an earlier contract award issued to CNS International, an Italian company providing the similar services in their oil field.
The case has been adjourned to 20 May 2019 for hearing.