The House of Representatives at the plenary yesterday mandated its Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, to investigate the management of ExxonMobil, NAPIMS and NCMB on their alleged maltreatment of indigenous service providers.
The House also urged ExxonMobil to immediately stop further procurement activities on their catering contracts, and reinstate the contractors who were disengaged without reasons from 2019 till date. The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion titled: 'Urgent Need to Investigate the Corporate Attitude of ExxonMobil against Indigenous Service Providers', sponsored by Hon. Henry Nwawuba.
Moving the motion, Nwawuba said ExxonMobil and its affiliates are involved in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas as well as operate joint venture concessions and deep-water production with significant investment in Nigeria, and have been a committed partner with the federal government in her drive for socio-economic growth of the country.
He said the company has equally been collaborating with various tiers of government by providing employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labourers in line with the Nigerian Content Development (NCD) Act.
The lawmaker said the company was recently reported to have commenced a contract process which was split to favour foreign companies to the exclusion of indigenous service providers.
He lamented that the glaring deliberate abuse of the Nigerian Content Development Act by ExxonMobil and the contract termination of the Nigerian owned companies have caused untold economic hardship to those indigenous companies and the host communities.
According to him: "The reports of unfair treatment of Nigerians who render various services to the company, especially the termination of the catering contract of Royalty Hotels and Eden Hotels (catering companies owned by Nigerians) in August 2019 without clear reasons and re-awarding same to West African Caterers (a foreign company) as well as employing two expatriates to supervise catering services against the NCD Act is unacceptable. There are unequal/prejudiced and biased procurement requirements, conditions and processes for catering service provisions targeted at automatically disqualifying proficient Nigerian companies from participating in the new catering technical and commercial bid.
"ExxonMobil could exhume such crass abuse and insult to Nigerian Government's policy restrictions on foreign food items by deliberately listing ISO 2200 Certification (a foreign safety qualification) as a mandatory requirement in their technical bid document for catering service production not minding the logistic difficulties facing local catering companies as a result of COVID-19 restrictions on international movements."
Nwawuba expressed concerns that if urgent action is not taken to call ExxonMobil to order, the situation may degenerate to both legal and civil actions capable of undermining the relative peace currently subsisting between the parties.
Adopting the motion, the House gave the committee two weeks to conclude its assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.