It was a woeful outing on Thursday for the Senate Committee on Local Contents as Managing Directors of Oil Companies shunned an investigative hearing which they were earlier invited.
Their absence was considered to have been undermining the Committee even as representatives who were sent couldn’t give reasons for their absence to the already furious Senators.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Teslim Folarin, representing Oyo Central Senatorial district was investigating some perceived infraction on the Local Contents Act by Oil Companies in Nigeria.
In response to the hearing, the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo couldn’t speak much on the level of compliance with regards to local manpower engagement in oil companies.
Expressing his discontent, Senator Folarin said: “there is a reason we invited them, so if they are not here who are we going to relate with?”
Representatives of the Managing Directors of Oil Companies were, however, made to write an undertaking that powers were donated to them to speak on behalf of their Chief Executives.
A member of the Committee, Senator Sabi Abdullahi insisted: “We need an undertaking in writing from the representatives of the oil companies, that they will be held responsible for what they say and would not later deny what they told the committee or would like to consult before they answer questions asked by the committee”.
He said the legislature set rules for some reasons while expressing anger that Managing Directors of Oil companies didn’t see a duty to answer the Parliament.
“For a committee to have all its members seated, tells you the importance attached to this assignment.”
Senator Obinna Ogba after making contributions shouted one of the representatives down, saying: “Investigative hearing is not a family meeting.”
In his ruling, the Chairman, told the representatives of oil companies to watch, saying they can’t represent their companies.
The Committee told the proxies to take the message back to their various Managing Directors to make themselves available at a reconvened investigative hearing of the Committee.