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Nigeria may get refund from foreign firms over $16 billion Egina probe


Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote (left); Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and Managing Director, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz arriving for the inspection of the Total’s Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel at SHI-MCI Yard, LADOL Free Zone, Lagos …

Senate ad hoc committee investigating the $16 billion Egina Deep Sea Project has disclosed that the participating foreign firms in the contract would refund billions of dollars to the Federal Government or Total Upstream Nigeria Limited.

The project covered cost variations and local content elements.

Chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday, saying the committee was optimistic that the investigations would result in the refund of billions of dollars to either the Nigerian government or Total Upstream Nigeria Limited.

He noted that this would ultimately reduce the cost of Egina Project and give Nigeria an advantage in the joint ventures (JVs) arrangement that would run for 25 years of exploiting Nigeria’s resources.

He also reaffirmed the committee’s resolve that managements of the foreign firms that participated in the Egina project must appear before it to explain their activities in the multi-billion dollar contracts.

The firms that had failed to appear before the committee after several invitations are Saipem BV, Saipem SA and Saipem Portugal.

However, they had the contracts with Total Upstream Nigeria under the consortium of Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited.

It was also revealed that some of the companies that got the dollar denominated contracts have only three members of staff.

The committee also directed their foreign managements to come along with their stamped travelling documents to authenticate the claims that they actually came to Nigeria to sign the contracts given to them.

While insisting on their personal appearance, Adeola said that except their Chief Operating Officers (CEOs) have something to hide in their transactions with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited through the SAIPEM Consortium, they should appear to account for their part of the $2.9 billion contracts.

He added that if the situation were reversed with Nigerian companies doing business in Italy, the Italian Parliament would not take kindly to the non- appearance of the Nigerian companies to assist it in a parliamentary investigation.

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