Kunle Kalejaye 11 November 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – In what appears to be a jamboree typical of the waste characterising Nigeria’s beleaguered oil and gas industry, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at the weekend sent a 110-man delegation to Seoul, South Korea, for the commissioning of some gas transportation vessels.
The gas transportation vessels belong to the Bonny Gas Transport company, BGT, a subsidiary of the NLNG.
Checks by SweetcrudeReports revealed that the 110-man delegation, which has already spent three days in Seoul, includes ranking officials and spouses of both the NLNG, NNPC and wives of some state governors.
Further checks by our correspondent revealed that Hotel Paradise, where 48 of the 110-man high-powered delegation would be accommodated for the five-day visit, has sold out all its 525 rooms from the check in date of Sunday, November 8 to the check out date of Friday November 13, 2015.
Concerned energy industry observers are questioning the rationality of the huge number of delegates as well as the make up of the delegation, which they say included individuals who have no business with the trip.
“It is a jamboree and it really shows that nothing has changed even with the coming of the new government of Muhammadu Buhari and its change mantra.
“Which country in the world will send out a delegation of 110 just for the commissioning of transport vessels in another country? This ugly development can only obtain in Nigeria,” an oil industry source toldSweetcrudeReports.
According to the plans for the event, seven of the delegates will be accommodated in the Junior Suites of the hotel at the cost of N684,356 each for five nights while 10 of them will occupy Executive Double or Twin Rooms with sea view at the cost of about N422,442 each for five nights. 25 of them will stay in Premier Double Rooms with partial ocean view at the cost of about N411,811 each for five nights.
The total cost for the seven delegates staying in Junior Suites for five nights costs about N4,790,492 while the 10 delegates staying in Executive Double or Twin Rooms for five nights will cup up a cost of about N4,224,420. The 25 delegates staying in Premier Double Rooms will for the period cost about N10,297,025.
According to the list of those attending the commissioning ceremony obtained by Sweetcrudereports, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Patience Ambode, will occupy a Junior Suite with sea view costing about N684,356 for five nights while her aid, Mrs. Ogunbunmi Abisola Adeola Fausat, will occupy the Executive Double or Twin Room with sea view at the cost of about N422,442 for five nights.
The wife of Rivers State governor, Mrs. Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, will also occupy a Junior Suite at the cost of N684,356 for five-night stay at the hotel while her aid, Miss Kelechi-Ubani Uchenna Nnenna, will, like her counterpart from Lagos, occupy the an Executive Double or Twin Room costing about N422,442 for five nights.
Mrs. Paula Tamunolpiriye Pepple, wife of His Majesty, Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, will occupy a Junior Suite at the cost of N684, 356 for five nights while her aid, Miss Vanessa Chidubem Chukwuma, will stay in an Executive Double or Twin Room costing about N422, 442 for five nights.
Mrs Elizabeth Kachikwu, wife of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, who is a non-executive director of the NLNG will occupy a Junior Suit along with her husband, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
18 board members of BGT, including the chairman, Dr. Osobonye R. Longjohn, and his wife, Mrs Mina Longjohn, will occupy Premier Double Rooms with partial ocean iew at the cost of about N411, 811 each for five nights.
Nine NLNG management staff including the Managing Director, Mr. Babs Jolayemi Omotowa and his wife, Mrs. Helen Omotowa, and the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Isa Inuwa and his wife, Mrs. Isa Inuwa will occupy Premier Double Room with partial ocean view.
Three ex-NLNG representatives, former Deputy Managing Director currently Chairman/CEO, Mentor Energy Consulting Ltd; Mr. Basheer Koko; former General Manager Finance, currently Chairman, Falcom Petroleum Ltd, Mr. Victor Eromosele; and former Managing Director, Mr. Chima Ibeneche, who are said to be instrumental to the BGT progress, are booked to occupy Premier Double Rooms with partial ocean view.
Other guests on the trip include Ambassador Sheldu Omelza Momoh, Ambassador Oluwole Amosu, Mrs. Regia Agboola, Head, Loans Management Unit of NLNG, Executive Room; Mr. Henry Agbodjan, Head SDC of NLNG (Executive Room; and Mrs. Kemi Fasiku, Legal NLNG (Executive Room).
Four persons from Kexim Bank, three from K.SURE, two from ING Bank N.V, Seoul branch, one from Standard Chartered Bank, three from BNP PARIBAS and one from Sumitomo Mitsul Banking Corporation are also in the list for the event.
Also included are three persons from BRAEMAR Engineering, 25 from BGT Site Team, four from HN2636 &37 Sea Staff, six from LR, 14 from Hyundai Heavy Industries, HHI.
Investigations by SweetcrudeReports also revealed that an average return business class flight ticket from Abuja to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, ICN, will cost about $15, 250.06 per person.
The 18-storey Paradise Hotel, housing the delegates, was built in 1978 with 525 rooms and was last renovated in 2001. It is situated at 1408-5 Chung-Dong, Haeundae-Gu Busan, South Korea 612010.
An NNPC official decried the development, saying it is “typical of the waste that has characterised the operations of the corporation”.
“How can the corporation be declaring a loss and officials and their spouses still embark on such jamboree. The Group Managing Director must be seen to lead by example,” the official who did not want his name in print noted.
Also speaking, an oil services contractor decried the trip as ‘wasteful and very unnecessary’, adding that the commissioning should have been done in Nigeria since entities in which the Nigerian government owns controlling interest made the order.
“I don’t think it is right to ask contractors to slash cost on ongoing projects owing to the downturn in oil prices and still embark on such a wasteful jamboree. The trip is at variance with the current reality in the industry, the contractor said.