THE Italian oil major in Nigeria, Agip, is currently on the political spot. A group, Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) is accusing the oil major of subverting Nigeria's Local Content Act and siding with some Northern political elite against President Goodluck Jonathan.
They alleged that the oil company was aligning with some ''Northern political forces'' to fight President Jonathan. But some concerned Agip officials in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in Southern Nigeria, have denied this potentially dangerous allegation, saying the oil company is non-partisan.
Apparently not persuaded, the group further alleged that Agip has put on hold all their major projects till 2015. ''Agip is doing this to spite President Jonathan; who is spearheading the local content drive'', the group said.The law was designed to boost local participation in the country's oil industry.
The group on Tuesday, alleged that Agip was not on the same page with the Nigerian government in their drive to ensure that local oil servicing companies gain more expertise, with a view to lifting more unemployed youths off the choked streets.
They are accordingly, pressing Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to urgently wield the big stick against the Vice-Chairman/Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mr. Ciro Pagano, in order to send a strong message to other subversive oil firms in the country.
The group also wants the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate activities of the Italian oil company.
In an e-mail to AkanimoReports on Tuesday, jointly endorsed by President Nelly Emma; Secretary John Sailor and Spokesman Mukoro Stanley, they praised the minister for encouraging indigenous oil firms.
They impressed on her to sanction the Agip boss, over his alleged continued subversion of the local content law, adding, ''two years on after President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Nigerian Content Bill into Law; Agip is still carrying on their operations as usual and not willing to carry local oil servicing companies''.
They alleged that the Agip big boss, Pagano, ''is bent on frustrating the Nigerian Local Content''.
According to them, ''we want Agip Vice Chairman/Managing Director to respect President Jonathan and the local content law. Agip prefers to deal with foreign oil companies operating in the country and we know that their intention is to kill the local content''.
Agip is however, seeing the charge against them as a ploy to put them out of business in Nigeria. The company said, ''we have been doing our best to our stakeholders''. ENDS