LOCAL oil servicing firms in the Niger Delta axis of Nigeria, have so far loss over $50 billion, around N8.05 trillion to alleged unwholesome activities in the petroleum sector of the country's economy.
Though this is currently a major source of worry to the local players in the industry who had high hopes on the Local Content Act, as a major legal weapon to boost their businesses.
Industry watchers say the rip-off is largely due to the activities of foreign mafia who are said to be well-entrenched in the allegedly corrupt oil sector.
Concerned activists told NIGERIA OAK, a leading regional newspaper last week that foreign oil servicing companies were still cornering the juicy jobs in spite of efforts by government through the instrumentality of the local content law, to smash such huge oil revenue drift.
Pro-local content activists in the volatile oil and gas region are alleging that the country's regulatory agencies in the oil sector, appeared to have compromised their responsibilities.
The loss is however, coming 22 months after President Goodluck Jonathan, gave his assent to the Local Content Act. The law which is known as the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, got President Jonathan's assent on April 22, 2010.
Since then, concerned oil workers are alleging that industry jobs worth over $50 billion have been dolled out to foreign firms at the expense of the local players. Our sources say the alleged subversive acts by the oil majors, was causing unease in the oil region.
A socio-political group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) has tasked Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to either be on the side of the people by ensuring full implementation of the law or quit her office.
Giving credence to the allegation of the oil workers, the group also claimed that oil contracts worth more than $50 billion have been splashed on foreign oil servicing companies since May 2010.
President of the self-acclaimed radical group, Nelly Emma, in an on-line chat with this newspaper, urged the petroleum minister to focus attention on indigenous oil and gas companies in the Niger Delta, as part of the poverty reduction mechanism.
“As a concerned group, we want her to come up with her plans for indigenous investors. Our people have confidence in the Nigerian Local Content. That is primarily why they are investing heavily on capacity building. As i speak to you, the restive circles are not happy that they are not being encouraged. The issue can boil over if not properly checked'', the group said.
Continuing, the group leader said, the petroleum minister need to be told that our people can no longer be deceived. She has to perform by ensuring that plume contract opportunities go to the local players. We want her to take drastic action because we are not happy that the Forcados-Yokri Integrated Project was awarded to O.P.I. that does not even have an office in Nigeria;
''O.P.I., we gathered, got the Forcados-Yokri Integrated Project job as a result of the single sourcing approved by the petroleum minister. We don’t want to believe that we are being manipulated by those who are against the removal of fuel subsidy''. ENDS