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Former minister berates oil, gas multinationals over content devt Act

Oil-plant-CopyA former Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien, has berated multinational oil companies operating in the country, accusing them of violating the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.

The Act was promulgated in 2010, to create framework for the growth of local content in respect of all operations and transactions in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. But most of the multinational companies operating in the Niger Delta have done little in term of infrastructure in the region.

Essien, a former National Assembly member representing Eket/Esit Eket/Onna/Ibeno Federal Constituency in 1999 said this while presenting a paper titled “The Role of the Media in the Implementation of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 and the Prospect for Job Creation and Economic Growth” at the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State at a workshop organised by Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) for journalists in the state. It was in collaboration with Anak Ventures Nigeria and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

He said, “Multinationals still find ways of circumventing our laws by using Nigerian cronies to register companies and then award joint venture projects to these phony firms to the disadvantage of genuine Nigerian companies. It is, therefore on this premise that I implore the Nigerian media, the civil society community and the National Assembly to rise in defence of our law.”

Essien said the time has come for journalists and Nigerian operators in the oil and gas sector to use every legitimate means to fight against neo-colonialism by oil majors in the country and should carry out an investigation into how the oil giants have complied with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act since its promulgation.

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