Multi-national oil companies are said to be at the forefront of on going campaign to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from reappointing Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, the ex-minister of petroluem resources, into the federal cabinet, which will be reconstituted any moment from now.
The oil majors which virtually control the economy are said to be worried by what they see as Allison-Madueke’s determination to pull the rug off their feet through the implementation of Local Content Act as well as her determination to see that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has been stalling in the National Assembly is passed.
Daily Sun learnt they have vowed to do everything to stop the ex-minister before she “inflicts more harm” on their interest and have deployed all manner of tactics, including lobbying and outright mudslinging to blight her chances of making the ministerial list. The oil majors are said to be trading on a familiar, as they were said to have stopped the appointment of Mr. Chris Ogiemwonyi as minister in the same ministry of petroleum resources in 2007.
It was learnt in Abuja during the weekend that the grouse of the multinational oil firms with Allison Madueke, who until her appointment into the federal cabinet in 2007 was a top executive with Shell, is her insistence that some sensitive areas of operation in the oil industry which have hitherto been the exclusive preserves of expartriates be opened to local particpation.
The Local Content Act provides that only those skills which are not available locally should be done by expatriates, a measure aimed at reducing expartiates’ quotas in the industry. Billions of naira are leaving by the country annually to the huge amount being repartiated home by workers in the industry. The PIB has been stalled in the Senate for a long time following what is widely seen as the hand of the oil majors who fear that their overbearing influence on the economy would be whittled down as soon as the provisions of the proposed law became effective.
The Local Content Act also provides for mandatory development of local skills in the oil industry so as to increase local particpation in the day-to-day running of the oil multi-nationals. Daily Sun learn that the oil majors are not comfortable with the emergence of wholly indigeneous companies, which are proving to be key players in the industry.