Stakeholders who are mainly young players in the oil and gas sector have regretted that rather than the hyped benefits that accompanied the birth of the Total Egina oil field, which included the acceleration of the pace of Nigeria’s industrial fabric and the transfer of technology, the oil field has however, made thousands of youths to lose their jobs.
They also alleged that foreign contractors had instigated mind-boggling corruption in Nigeria similar to the dark legacy of Halliburton by bribing officials to be awarded multi- billion dollar projects, hence called on the Federal Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to beam its searchlight on the activities of the major players adding that massive corruption perpetrated by foreign companies with support from their compromised local allies, mortgaging the future of the youths in deference to the Local Content Act, must not be swept under the carpet.
In a press statement supported with relevant documents and signed by Chairman, Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), Moses Siloko Siasia, Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal, Pioneer Chairperson of Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), Dr. Ahmed Adamu and other Civil Society Groups, they stated that in June, 2013, NNPC awarded the contract for the EPC to build the Egina FPSO to Samsung Heavy Industries. This was despite the fact that Hyundai Heavy Industries was recommended by Total for the job and was the lowest bidder. According to them, immediately after the award and throughout the project, there has been outcry from stakeholders ranging from interest groups to legal challenges in court.
The stakeholders however, urged the Nigerian Government to stop shielding criminals from justice and conclude the investigation they had started by exposing their illegalities.
The statement reads in parts: “The Egina oil field has resulted into massive job losses for Nigerian youths. We also have it in good authority that Samsung has fraudulently acquired contract award to collect hundreds of millions of variation (20% of the contract value) with no local content in it.
“The youth has decided that Nigeria can never be developed if foreign instigators of corruption are allowed to go free. Samsung’s current attempt to advocate for new variations will be stopped.
“The company must immediately be sent out of Nigeria and banned from participating in future projects.” They added that for the past five years, there have been investigations into the irregular manner in which Samsung won the contract by several anti-corruption agencies and yet the findings were not published.
“The full finding of these investigations has not been published but it is widely believed that Samsung paid bribes in the region of over 50 million Dollars to win the contract.”
The group also said they are mobilising other interest groups to move to submit a detailed petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and National Assembly on Tuesday 28th August 2018 at 10am.
By Marc Philips