The senate has warned against circumventing the Procurement Law of Nigeria in the award of contracts for the execution of the $10 billion Bonga South West Aparo Deep Sea Oil project in Rivers State that is undergoing procurement process while awaiting final approval from NNPC and Minister of Petroleum.
Giving the warning during an oversight interaction with the managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, Snepco, Mr. Bayo Ojulari and top management of the company, Senator Solomon Adeola(APC, Lagos West), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content said it would be unacceptable to the Senate and Nigerians for contracts to be awarded to favourites in place of lower bids by competent company as reportedly happened in the award contact for the Total $16 Billion Egina FPSO to Samsung Heavy Industry(SHI) in place of Hyundai Heavy Industry(HHI).
The senator was reacting to the revelation that following national and international advertisement for expression of interest from companies for pre-qualification during which 500 companies participated and were screened, NNPC forwarded names of other companies of their own for inclusion in the process adding that whatever is done must follow the laws of the land and international best practices for such transactions’ in the oil and gas industry.
“We must warn that no element of foul play should be involved in the bidding process to avoid shortchanging Nigeria based on the experience we had with Egina. There must be transparent bidding process and the best should be good for Nigeria” Senator Adeola stated.
The chairman of the committee called on the NNPC and the Minister of Petroleum to quickly grant final approvals for the project so that the delayed bidding process can go on for the project which commencement date has been shifted from 2018 to 2019 adding that Nigeria crude oil production would be greatly increase with the coming on stream of Bonga South West Aparo.
Earlier on, Mr. Ojulari informed the committee that no contract has been awarded for the project contrary to recent announcement by Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachukwu as the bidding process is still on adding that the project will not suffer any impediment in the bidding process as observed in the Egina project.
He pointed out that under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) NNPC has the right to nominate qualified companies for contracts adding however those companies must pass through the technical and financial qualifications specified in Invitation to Tender (ITT).
Among members of the committee present include Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Andrew Uchendu, acting Chairman Senate Committee on Procurement, Senator Gershon Bassey, Senator Albert Akpan, Senator Abubakar Gumel and Senator Stella Oduah.