By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committee on local content to investigate the level of utilization of the local community and the Nigerian human and material resources by the Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO) in Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency of Delta state.
The position of the House followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) on the “need to investigate SEEPCO’s non-compliance with Nigeria local content act”
Ossai while moving the motion, said the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act of 2010 was a milestone in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The Lawmaker added that the local content act was enacted to provide a legal framework for increased Nigeria’s participation in all activities connected with exploration, exploitation, development, transportation and sale of crude oil and gas resources in the Nigerian oil industry.
According to him, the local content act specifies 70 percent use of indigenous labour, materials and resources in all oil and gas projects in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
“Aware that Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited, an Indian company with businesses in six continents and several countries such as India, USA, China, Japan, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia, ventured into Nigerian oil and gas market in 2005 and is presently, successfully producing crude oil in the Niger Delta”
The lawmaker observed that most of the human and material resources and services being utilized by SEEPCO in the Niger Delta region, particularly in Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency are mostly Indians.
He informed that the local content act prescribes that the minimum Nigerian content requirement in any project, service or product specification to be executed in the Nigerian oil and gas industry shall be consistent with the level set out in the schedule to the act.
“Congnisant that the neglect over the years by the Nigerian Content Monitoring Board that is saddled with responsibility to monitor, supervise and coordinate the local content act, has grossly defeated the purpose of the prescribed minimum thresholds for Nigerian participation in the activities within the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
“Also aware that section 16 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 enjoins the federal government to manage and operate major sectors of its economy, thereby avoiding foreign domination of the economy.