NIGERIA: Senate Queries Halliburton Over Lopsided Shareholding Structure

The Senate oversight team visits Halliburton. Image via NAN

ABUJA (NAN)--The Senate Committee on Local Content on Thursday queried lopsided shareholding structure in favour of foreign component in Halliburton Nigeria.

Chairman of the committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola, raised the concern during a tour to Halliburton Nigeria in Port Harcourt, as part of its two-day oversight visit to Bayelsa and Rivers.

Adeola queried reports that shareholding in Halliburton was 30 per cent for the Nigerian component and 70 per cent for Halliburton global.

He also deplored the fact that Halliburton Nigeria was not listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

He requested the company to submit its payroll to ascertain disparity in remuneration for foreign and Nigerian workers.

Adeola also directed the company to “submit tax certificate, financial statement and other documents, to ascertain level of compliance with local content regulation.”

He asked that company to furnish the committee with its recruitment process as well as level of involvement of local communities in the company’s activities.

Responding, Deputy Managing Director of the company, Mr Okey Okoli, assured that all the documents requested would be made available to the committee.

He said the company was 97 per cent Nigerian, with 606 indigenous staff “and only three per cent foreign”, accounting for 22 expatriate workers.

Okoli added that the company was in strict compliance with tax remittance and the one per cent remittance to the Nigerian Content Development Management Board.

He disclosed that there was no disparity in the salaries and allowances paid to indigenous workers and foreigners, adding that Nigerians who worked in foreign offices were paid “hardship allowance” like foreigners were paid in Nigeria.

“We do not have shortfall in terms of compliance with one per cent remittance to NCDMB.

“Our shareholding structure is 70 per cent global and 30 per cent local.

“In terms of capacity-building, we noticed a challenge for local companies to train Nigerians abroad, so we opened a training centre in Akwa Ibom state,” he said.

Okoli,who is also Country Business Development Manager Nigeria, West Central and East Africa Area of the company, however, noted that the training was mainly in oil and gas.