By Jimmy Lace, Warri

 

 

Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Ex. Sec. NCDMD flanked by Matthew Tonlagha, Ex. Dir. FENOG & others commissioning the pipe lay barge

Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Ex. Sec. NCDMD flanked by Matthew Tonlagha, Ex. Dir. FENOG & others commissioning the pipe lay barge

THE Executive Director, FENOG Nigeria Limited (FNL), Mr. Matthew Tonlagha has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to urgently go ahead and award its multi-billion Dollars Trans Niger Pipeline Looplines Project (TNPL).

 

He said FENOG was being weighed down by low patronage by the multinationals on its huge investments in the Oil and Gas Industry.

 

The leading indigenous company, he revealed, has just sank over 70 Million Dollars in the purchase of modern equipment meant to boost the operations of oil companies, especially in the Niger Delta region.

 

At the commissioning of the equipment at FENOG’s Jetty/Fabrication Yard in Ugbuwangue town, Warri, Delta State by the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr, Ernest Nwapa, Mr. Tonlagha expressed worry over the delay in the award of the Trans Niger Pipeline Looplines Project (TNPL) by SPDC.

 

While appealing to President Jonathan, Petroleum Minister, Group Managing Director of NNPC and NCDMB boss to prevail on SPDC for the award of the TNPL project, Mr. Tonlagha alleged that SPDC was dragging its feet over the award of the project because indigenous companies in the Niger Delta region, like FENOG stands to benefit from it, saying SPDC prefers awarding the project to foreign companies operating in the region at the detriment of indigenous companies.

 

But he said, if the Nigerian Local Content Act must work in order for indigenous oil and gas companies to benefit and help in the development of the Niger Delta region, the President should see to it that the TNPL project was awarded quickly by SPDC, lamenting that FENOG Nigeria Limited has invested heavily on capacity building over the years, but without adequate patronage by the multi-national oil companies.

 

Tonlagha said, “We have been investing huge resources on modern equipment over the years because of our high hope on the Nigerian Local Content Act, but we are being frustrated by the multi-national oil companies, we want President Jonathan to help us. We want the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke to come to our rescue; they should tell SPDC to go ahead and award the TNPL project in the Niger Delta region.”

 

The Executive Director of FENOG also said, “We have invested heavily on capacity building over the years, but with low patronage from the multi-national oil companies. It is the Federal Government that is holding us down now. We are commissioning our equipment and they are supposed to give us projects that they are supposed to commission. This is the third time we are inviting them to come and commission our modern equipment, but we have not invited them to come and commission any project here. So it is a challenge for the Federal Government. What will be the hope of Nigerians tomorrow if we continue to invest in equipment without calling them to come and commission projects that we have completed? So, these are the things that President Goodluck Jonathan said that they are going to push for and we hope that next time when we see them come here, it is to commission projects that FENOG has completed for the oil companies.”

 

He said, “Since Akpevweoghene arrived Nigeria and commissioned by the Petroleum Minister three years ago, we are yet to secure a single job for it. What will be the future of Nigerians that are buying modern equipment without being encouraged with job by the International Oil Companies (IOCs). Is it because we are from the Niger Delta region that we are being frustrated? The President and the Petroleum Minister should tell us whether we should still put our hope on the Nigerian Content Law. Should we still depend on the Nigerian Content Law? The foreign companies being given jobs by the IOCs do not have barges in Nigeria. It is only when they are awarded contracts that they bring barges from outside the country to Nigeria and those of us that have our barges in the country are not patronized. This is not fair! The Federal Government should give its total support to the Nigerian Content Law; no effort should be spared by the Government to make the Nigerian Content Law to work for the betterment of our people. The IOCs must not be allowed to frustrate the Nigerian Content Law. We urge the Federal Government to give its full backing to the Content Law so that indigenous companies like FENOG are not forced out of operations.”

 

“It is now over three years since Akpevweoghene was commissioned by the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and we are yet to secure any job for it. We have invested so much on equipment, but there is no encouragement from the Federal Government and the IOCs. How long do we have to wait? We have borrowed heavily from banks to acquire equipment and the interests are rising. We need jobs; we need to be encouraged by the Federal Government and the IOCs” he added.

 

Speaking in the same vein, the General Manager of FENOG Nigeria Limited, Engr. Uwakwe Chukwudi called on the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke to prevail on Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to award the Trans Niger Pipeline Loopline Project (TNPL).

 

 

In his address at the commissioning of three fleets of equipment recently acquired by the company, Engr. Chukwudi said that the company was well equipped to handle the TNPL.

 

Engr. Chukwudi said the Nigerian Local Content Act has become a catalyst and motivator for stronger commitment to the development of Nigeria contractor’s capacity and capability in all aspects of the economy, especially the Oil and Gas Industry.

 

According to him, “It is in furtherance to this commitment that encouraged FENOG Nigeria Limited to acquire modern self-propelled onshore Pipe Lay Barge and three service vessels, which are based on modern technology. In addition, we are commissioning a PD 350 Ton HDD rig and Phase 1 of the 350 Rigid Pavement access road to the jetty with associated covered drain.”

 

“The Self-Propelled Onshore Pipe Lay Barge is 75m in length, 14m breadth with a draft (fully loaded) of 1M with a capacity to lay pipe from 2” to 52” diameter. Besides, each of the three 500HP SERVICE VESSELS are kitted with sophisticated features while the 350 Ton HDD rig has ability to grab/push or pull line pipes, trust bore and for tunnel works. These patriotic efforts and initiatives of FENOG are aimed at effectively keying into the good gesture of our Government while meeting our Clients’ expectations and needs for quality services. The three fleets of equipment and other facilities were suitably acquired for strategic projects especially the TRANS NIGER PIPELINE LOOPLINE (TNPL) PROJECT FOR SPDC. We, however, use this opportunity to call on the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Group Managing Director NNPC, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB and Group General Manager, NAPIMS, to prevail on SPDC to award the TNPL project since huge resources have been expended in acquiring these equipment. In the same vein, we humbly appeal to our Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, who is the father of the state, to join forces with other stakeholders to ensure that the project is awarded within the shortest possible time,” Engr. Chukwudi said.

 

According to him also, “The latest equipment slated for commissioning will no doubt add momentum to the success of FENOG Nigeria Limited in the Oil and Gas Industry. We appeal to all IOC’s and government bodies to adopt our novel method of pipeline installation as a better technology invented by FENOG. In line with the quest for being the best Nigerian Company, with 100% Nigerian human resources, we have recently and aggressively moved into shallow and deep water operations by the acquisition of “Akpevweoghene Derrick Pipe Lay Barge” meant for the construction of platforms, heavy lifting and laying of pipelines in both shallow and deep waters.”

 

But he lamented that, “However, regrettably, this is the fourth year of Akpevweoghene lay barge in the country and we are yet to secure a job for it to enable us to recoup the huge capital cost for its acquisition. Escravos Export System Project (EESP) is Chevron’s prime project where Akpevweoghene Derrick Lay Barge can be fully utilized. We therefore use this opportunity to appeal to NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited for the above project.”