Groups petition EFCC over alleged $3.8b contract fraud

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Chief Executive, Connected Development (CODE), Mr Hamzat Lawal (2nd, R); assisted by Chairman, Nigerian Young Professional Forum (NYPF), Mr Moses Siasia (R); to present a Letter for inquisition into the engineering procurement, construction of the Total Egina and alleged foreign contractors importation of manpower against the Local Content Act, to the representative of the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, at the EFCC Office in Abuja on Tuesday (28/8/18).
04653/28/8/2018/Hogan Bassey/NAN

A youth body, Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and Connected Development (CODE) have submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged 3.8billion dollars contract awarded to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

The petition was titled, “Request for Presidential Inquisition into the Engineering Procurement and Construction of the Total Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading(FPSO)Facility by Samsung Heavy Industries(SHI).’’

The petition was jointly signed by the Chairman of NYPF, Mr Moses Siasia and the Executive Director of Connected Development, Mr Hamzat Lawal, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The signatories said that the forum had discovered a monumental fraud going on in the oil and gas industry and the nonchalant attitude of foreign contractors to heed to local content laws.

“We have a situation where 3.8 billion dollars project called Egina project, was not able to meet expectations particularly to employ young Nigerian professionals,’’ Lawal said.

They said they are concerned over the 3.8billion dollar Egina project awarded to Samsung Heavy Industries which failed to employ over 30,000 Nigerian young people working in Nigeria in line with local content law.

“As we speak, young people were deprived of that project but instead, the project was taken to South Korea where young South Koreans got the job instead.’’

The signatories said that Samsung was asking for variation with no local content element on those variations.

They said Nigeria could not be spending such billions on a foreign firm without giving Nigerian young professionals the opportunity to be part of the project.

The youth forum also alleged that the company has “no physical structure in terms of office.’’

They said that what the firm claimed to be their office was just where air conditioners were sold.

“We cannot be giving that kind of jobs to portfolio companies who have no good structures as office, who are here to pack money and develop their countries,’’ Siasia said.

Among the requests made by the youth forum is for the EFCC to investigate the irregularities surrounding the SHI and Samsung Korea and their involvement in the Egina project.

They request that Samsung Heavy Industries Korea be given maximum five per cent fine applicable for local content violations of their contract.

That SHI Korea and SMH Nigeria be blacklisted from participating in Nigeria projects for 10 years.

They also request that for every variation claimed by Samsung, the company should be made to pay minimum of 20 per cent to Nigerian companies involved in the Egina contract, among others.

Responding, the head of Media and publicity in the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren thanked the youth forum for their patriotism and belief in the work of the commission to combat fraud.

He, however, said that their petition was only an allegation, adding that the commission would do everything in its power to look into their petition and carry out necessary investigations.





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