Firm sues NCDMB, ExxonMobil for local content laws violation

An indigenous oil servicing company in Akwa Ibom State, The Pioneer Divers Int’l Limited, has dragged the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to court for alleged breach of local content laws. The Punch has reported.

In a suit number HEK/96/2019, filed before the Akwa Ibom State High Court in Eket, the plaintiff, Divers International Limited, through its lead counsel, Nwabueze Onukogu, alleged that the NCDMB breached the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants awarded a contract worth over $90m to a foreign company.

It said ExxonMobil awarded a contract, titled ‘Diving, Topside and ROV,’ in their operations field in Akwa Ibom to Broron Oil and Gas Limited of the United States of America in partnership with Subtech in South Africa for $90m.

ExxonMobil, Boron Oil and Gas Limited of the United States of America and Subtech, a company from South Africa, were joined as defendants in the suit.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Onukogu, alleged that the Nigerian Development Content and Monitoring Board conspired with some international oil companies to shortchange Nigerian companies from benefiting from the contract award.

He alleged the said contract could facilitate the transfer of technology that would help indigenous firms to acquire the needed skill to take over oil industry operations in Nigeria as envisaged in the Local Content Act, 2010.

Among other prayers, the plaintiff is urging the court to award the sum of N100m against the defendants.

The plaintiff 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 similar services in the oil field.