By Raphael Ekpang
The Chairman of the house committee on Nigeria content, Hon. Ochiglegor Idagbo has said that the current 9th assembly as constituted would not fold it hands and allow anybody or Institution to keep disobeying the laws of Nigeria.
The lawmaker representing Bekwara/Obudu/Obanliku federal constituency made this known on Tuesday during an investigative hearing on the breach of Nigeria laws by foreign vessel owners in the Nigeria coastal region by a joint committee on local content.
According to him, “This investigative hearing has been quite revealing, having listen to the Ships Owners Association of Nigeria, it is clearer that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is in contravention of section 105 of the nautical act which says that only Nigerian indigenous ship owners should drive our coastal waters.”
He noted that from the paper presentation of day one of the three day investigative hearing, it is becoming obvious that the foreign ship owners have benefited so much from contracts awarded to them by the NNPC against the laws of the land.
He noted further that, no matter what, the indigenous ship owners should be the sole beneficiaries of NNPC contracts and not the reverse.
“We’ve heard from the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, we’ve heard from Petroleum Technology Assocoiatioon of Nigeria (PETAN), so, tomorrow we are going to hear from NNPC, NIMASA and others. This is to find out why there are contravening the laws of the land.
“If it is the Case of lack of capacity by the indigenous ship owners, then something would be done, we need to think outside the box to see how we can give them access to single digit interest loan that can build their capacity so that they can be the one benefiting from these contracts from the NNPC,” he said.
However, he added that the essence of the investigative hearing was to help in providing the framework on how things should work after meeting all the stakeholders at the end of the hearing.
Meanwhile, he assures that the joint committee will leave no stone unturned in its bid to make sure nobody breaks the laws again.
“I want to assure Nigerians that the right thing would be done, as a national assembly we are the lawmakers, we would ensure that nobody breaks the law, so that the right thing is done,” he said.
In the same vain, the senate Chairman of local content Sen. Teslim Folarin also warned that nobody should think that he or they are above the laws, stressing that the right thing would not only be done but must be seeing that it is done.