The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) risk being dragged to court by Macready Oil Services Company Limited and Miles Energy Services Limited for meddling in the contract for the multi-billion dollar Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project.
The two companies, along with five others, make up the consortium that received the $834 million contract to handle Lot 2 of the TNGP gas project. The Lot 2 entails the construction of the Abuja to Kaduna section of the project and a 24-inches diametre spurline.
Despite winning the contract in 2016 after a successful bidding process, the NNPC has now been accused of trying to sideline the consortium in favour of a third party that never participated in the bidding process. This is according to Mr Fidelis Oditah (SAN), the attorney representing the above-named companies.
According to nairametrics, Mr Oditah also accused the oil and gas regulator (i.e., NNPC) of trying to connive with the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to breach the 2016 contract with the consortium.
“The FEC is not a court of law and cannot resolve commercial disputes between NNPC and its contractors. The FEC should not entertain NNPC’s request. To do otherwise would give the wrong impression that the Federal Government is above the law and its own courts, which will further damage investor confidence in Nigeria and its adherence to the rule of law.” – Oditah
The lawyer went further to accuse the NNPC of using law enforcement to intimidate some top executives of the companies in the consortium. He cited an instance earlier this year when the Managing Director of Miles Energy, Kamoru Oladimeji, was arrested in Lagos and taken to Abuja where he was detained by the State Security Services.
Nairametrics gathers that troubles started as soon as the contract was awarded to the consortium in 2016. Just last month, NNPC filed a suit against the consortium claiming that it had “no valid or subsisting or enforceable contract”.
This is because of what the NNPC said is the consortium’s failure to finalise the contract and execute the project. But the consortium insists that any issues NNPC might have experienced are all self-inflicted.
In the meantime, both parties await the outcome of the ongoing legal proceeding even as the consortium has vowed to take legal actions against any entity that bids to take over the contract from them until the court decision is known.