Gas contract probe: Chinese firm, NLNG dare senators

 6th June 2024

Rivers community begs Buhari for intervention over NLNG Train 7 project

An ongoing investigation into a multi billion naira NLNG train 7 project by Jarigbe Agom-led Senate committee on Gas, has hit a dead end, as a Chinese firm and another Federal Government-backed contractor, have refused to submit document to aid the probe.

The NLNG Train 7 project involves the construction and operation of one (1) additional Complete LNG Train (CT) and a Common Liquefaction Unit (CLU) with a total capacity of 7.4 mtpa (million)

The joint Committee on Gas of the Senate and House of Representatives conducting the investigation had to hurriedly suspend the investigation until documents are made available by Nigerians Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) and SAIPEM Contracting Nig. Ltd.

Chairman of the joint committee, Agom, expressed disappointment that the NLNG and the Chinese contractor could boldly refuse to supply the document the committee requested for.

He disclosed that the committee had requested that information be provided on the contract agreement signed between SAIPEM and NLNG, as well as any variations requested and subsequently granted on the cost of the project.

However, in a response to the request
the Chinese contractor said “the disclosure of the contract agreement as well as details of any variation request in respect of the NLNG Project is not within our sole discretion as the Contract specifically contains confidentiality provisions that forbids the disclosure of its contents and other project information to the authorities without NLNG’s express written consent.”

In a letter signed by TaeWon Jung, the managing director of Daewoo E&C which is one of the contractors, it was categorically spelt out that providing the committee with any document is not binding.

“Given the above, considering the provisions of section 88 of the 1999 constitution which regulates terms and conditions according to which the National Assembly exercises its powers we will appreciate your obliging us of the gazetted copy of such resolution or as published in National Assembly’s journal as prescribed by law,” he insisted.

In his own submission, the NLNG represented at the meeting by Godson Dienye, said “the investigative power of the National Assembly is not at large but is is circumscribed as recognised and endorsed by the courts.”

The joint Committee later adjourned deliberations on the matter until Wednesday, June 13th, 2024.

It charged NLNG and the contractors to submit the documents not later than Tuesday 11th of June, 2024.

It, however, failed to spell out any punishment that will be melted out if the contractors fail to submit the requested documents.


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