13 October 2017

Nigeria: Reps Deny Asking Govt to Repatriate Intels' Expatriates

The House of Representatives has denied reports that it ordered the federal government to deport some expatriates of Nigeria's oil and gas logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Limited.

In an affidavit deposed to by the Clerk of the Local Content Committee of the House of Representatives, Ifeoma Ofili, the lawmakers denied issuing directives to the executive arm or forcing government to carry out their resolution.

While admitting that it conducted an investigation into the implementation of the Local Content Law, Ofili said the purpose of the investigation was not to witch hunt INTELS or to find any fault against the company but to have sustainable and reliable facts that will help the House have in-depth knowledge and facts on possible defects, strength and weakness of the working of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.

In an affidavit in response to a suit filed by INTELS at the Federal High Court Abuja, Ofili stated that neither the Local Content Committee nor the House of Representatives "force their findings and/or recommendation(s) down the throat of the executive arm of Government since the executive arm of Government is to make their fresh investigation and hear from persons mentioned in the findings to enable the relevant executive agency to come to an independent decision as to the veracity or otherwise of the shared information/facts and if necessary, what action(s) to take."

Ofili further stated: "That presently no information/facts arising from the legislative investigation conducted by the Local Content Committee of the 1st defendant (House of Representatives) on the Nigerian Content Development Act has been shared with the executive as the defendants are more interested in using the information/facts they obtained during the legislative investigation for law making purposes especially as touching the urgent need to amend the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 in respect of which there is a proposed Bill for its amendment before the National Assembly."

A section of the media recently insinuated that the House Local Content Committee ordered the repatriation of some expatriates of INTELS Nigeria Limited, prompting the company to institute a legal action at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Speaking recently at the Public Hearing, the General Manager Legal Services of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mike Epelle had stated that the company operates responsibly and in compliance with the laws of the land, which include the Oil and Gas Free Zones Act and the Nigerian Content Development Act, among others.

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