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Group urges FG to act on ‘grand conspiracy’ in oil and gas sector

Campaign Against Impunity (CAI), a civil society group, has urged the federal government to intervene in an alleged conspiracy unfolding in the oil and gas industry.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Shina Loremikan, coordinator of CAI, said such activities could “destroy confidence in the country’s business environment, drive away the much needed foreign investments in the economy” if left unchecked.

Citing an example, Loremikan pointed to a report published by TheCable in February that uncovered an alleged plot by some expatriates to hijack ownership of Sea Trucks Group Limited and West African Ventures (WAV), both originally owned by Jacques Roomans, a Dutch-Nigerian.

He said Telford Offshore, the new company floated by the alleged conspirators, led by Fraser Moore, was not operating under the ambit of the law, as several court orders had said the parties should “maintain status quo.”

“Several investigations have thrown up the illegality in the move by Telford Offshore and have raised a lot of moral questions,” he said.

“Not only is the whole affair odious, even more upsetting is the fact that these set of foreign conspirators are reaching out to and obtaining some form of listening ears in the regulatory sphere of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“We are already noticing the gross disobedience of Nigerian laws in this case and are concerned at the audacity expatriates in our country committing this kind of impunity.

“We are asking that the case of STG in liquidation/Telford be closely monitored and that government ensures adherence to the rule of law.

Adebayo Obatungashe, director of programmes at CAI, said the federal government and regulatory agencies in the industry should be “alive” to the issue and act as a “matter of urgency.”

“We are… drawing the attention of the Nigerian authorities to this issue as a matter of urgency—the federal government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), its subsidiary, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP),” he said.

“The government and the above agencies should be alive to their responsibility to protect lawful Nigerian companies creating value in the Nigerian oil and gas industry from unlawful activities of dubious expatriates bent on rolling back the progress so far made by indigenous Nigerian companies.”

Oluwatoyin Bayagbon :