Controversy is trailing the tender issued on the NIPEX portal for the provision of Oilfield Casings and Tubulars (OCTG) for SEPLAT West Petroleum and Development Company Limited.
Most stakeholders are angry over what they say is the changing of the rules in the middle of the game in favour of certain interests.
From the onset, and as always, NIPEX prequalifies companies based on technical competence to provide the service. All criteria required to meet the provision of this service form part of NIPEX prequalification exercise.
A pre-tender advertisement is usually published in national newspapers to alert companies interested in tendering for the service to prepare for the technical qualification. The NIPEX code, and every other requirement is published well in advance.
At the appropriate time, NIPEX performed the activity. Several companies were successfully prequalified and went ahead to receive the actual tender.
However, foul play occurred along the line, according to one of the stakeholders who spoke anonymously on their behalf.
He said: “During the period leading to the commercial submission, an unusual additional requirement was sent to all the successful, prequalified companies as the commercial submission date approached. All technically prequalified companies were asked to submit evidence of the Nigerian Content Equipment Certificate (NCEC) obtained from the Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCDMB).