The House of Representatives has announced that it summoned the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, over the alleged award of a coastal shipping contract to a foreign company.

This was disclosed by the Chairman, House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Rep. Legor Idagbor, on Wednesday.

The Committee is on an investigative hearing to determine if the contract awarded to UNIBROS in 2020, followed due process, and Kyari is expected to appear before the committee on October 13.

What the Committee said

“If the NNPC fails to appear, the process of the law and the powers given to the National Assembly would be followed to deal with the corporation,” they said.

The Committee also summoned the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), over every detail of the contract, as it did not have a single document in relation to the contract in its possession.

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mohammed Nami, stated in the letter at the hearing that UNIBROS was not registered in its database and that payment had been made in the name of the company.

President of the Shippers Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr George Onyung, who was at the hearing, said the NNPC sidelined local shippers and operated without due process. He said, “the NNPC awarded the contract to UNIBROS. It is a coastal shipping contract. It is one contract, but for 11 vessels. That is the whole share of coastal shipping.

“This means that when those vessels that bring the product from abroad arrive Nigeria, the ships that would take the products to various jetties that have the shallow draft, which is a cabotage trade to start with, is supposed to be domiciled in Nigeria.

“They gave it to one company called UNIBROS, and all those ships are foreign flags, all are foreign-owned, and they do not hire Nigerians.”

He added that Nigerian indigenous companies had shown many times that they had the capacity to handle such projects.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics reported that the Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of the 4 members of the board of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC).

The confirmation of the board members, who were nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, was based on the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources. The new agency will automatically lead to the scrapping of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which will have its responsibilities taken over by the commission.

The nominees confirmed by the Senate include Isa  Modibbo – Chairman; Gbenga Komolafe – Chief Executive; Hassan Gambo – Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts; and Rose Ndong – Executive Commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management.