Civil society groups and the media have called on the Nigerian government to impose stiffer punishment on multinational oil firms, which violate the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued after a working group meeting between civil society and their media partners, Thursday.
The meeting which took place at Ajuji Hotel, Gudu District, Abuja, was attended by representatives of civil society groups and media practitioners.
Among other things, the communiqué deplored the continued violation of Nigerian laws by Agip and General Electric in a maintenance contract dispute with Arco Group, an indigenous oil and gas firm.
It calls on the relevant committees of the National Assembly to summon the management of Agip and other multinational oil companies in the country to explain their compliance with the Local Content Act.
The groups, “The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board being the regulatory body in the Act should as a matter of urgency, commence the discharge of its obligations by monitoring the operations of International Oil Companies, IOCs, with a view to track and enforce compliance with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010,” a part of the communiqué reads.
“We call on the relevant Committees in both chambers of the National Assembly to immediately summon the management of the Italian firm, AGIP and other International Oil Companies, IOCs, to appear before it and explain their role in the total disregard and violation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.
“Similarly, we call on the Federal Government to use all apparatus at its disposal in breathing life to the spirit and intent of the Local Content Act 2010.”
The communiqué noted that while Local Content Act was promulgated in 2010 to enhance local participation in the oil and gas sector, it lamented that indigenous firms are yet to play significant role in the industry.
Over five years after the law came into effect, the communiqué said, multinationals still manipulate the system to retain expatriate workers against Nigerian technicians and engineers.
It, therefore, calls on indigenous oil and gas companies to close rank and fight the glaring act of impunity by multinationals in the country.
The communiqué warned against further attempts to breach the laws of Nigeria by Agip and General Electric and vowed to mobilise Nigerians to fight them
This Article first appeared in PremiumTimes.com