By, Uchechukwu Ugboaja and Kayode Odunaro
The Senate Ad Hoc Committee Investigating Total Upstream Nigeria Limited’s $16 Billion Egina Deep Sea Project for Cost Variation and Local Content Elements has restated its earlier request that managing directors and chief executive officers of foreign companies that participated in the Egina Project must personally appear to give information on their activities in the multi-million dollar contracts they got as part of the Egina project under the Consortium of SAIPEM.
Restating the order for their appearance in one week time after three previous requests to Mr. Guidio D’ Aloisio , the managing director of SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Limited at an investigative hearing over the weekend, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) the chairman of the committee said that except the companies CEOs have something to hide in the transactions they had with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited through the SAIPEM Consortium, then they should appear to account for their part of the $2.9Billion contracts awarded to the consortium adding that if the situation were reversed with Nigerian companies doing business in Italy, the Italian Parliament will not take kindly to the non-appearance of the Nigerian companies CEOs to assist it in a parliamentary investigation.
The foreign companies in the consortium with SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Ltd are SAIPEM BV, SAIPEM SA and SAIPEM Portugal. Only the managing director of the Allied Dominion Oil and Shipping Services Ltd, the only Nigerian company in the consortium, Mr. Tien George honoured the committee invitation along with Mr. D’Aloisio.
The Senate Ad-hoc Committee cross-examining the various companies involved in the Egina project.
Senator Adeola said their investigations so far shows that some of these companies that got this dollar denominated multi million contracts have only three staff adding that the foreign managing directors should come along with their stamped travelling documents to authenticate the claims they actually came to Nigeria to sign the contracts given to them.
“From revelations so far, it is like the more you look the less you see in the contracts that mid-wife the almost completed Egina Project. But we are optimistic that the investigations will result in refund of millions if not billions of dollars either to Nigeria Government or Total Upstream Nigeria Limited which will ultimately reduce the cost of Egina Project and result in advantage to Nigeria in the joint venture business that is to run for 25 year exploiting Nigeria asset”.
The chairman of the committee stated that by the time all the unapproved cost variations by the various sub contractors in the project are computed with additional sum to be recovered through computation of the differentials in the practice of main contractors getting contracts in mostly dollars and giving out contracts in naira is computed, it will be clear that the Egina project could have cost far less than $16 billion.