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NUPRC, FG disagree over Mobil acquisition by Seplat

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission on Monday night insisted that the status quo as regards the acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited had not changed.

It specifically stated that the status quo was “the decline of assent to the transaction or share acquisition of ExxonMobil shares by Seplat,” which was in contrast to an earlier announcement from the Presidency on Monday that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had consented to the acquisition.

A tweet by the Presidency on Monday afternoon titled ‘President Buhari consents to acquisition of ExxonMobil shares by Seplat Energy Offshore Ltd,’ had stated that Buhari authorised the move in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum as a way to attract foreign direct investment into the country.

“In his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, and in consonance with the country’s drive for foreign direct investment in the energy sector, President @MBuhari has consented to the acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited,” the statement stated.

It added, “ExxonMobil had entered into a landmark Sale and Purchase Agreement with Seplat Energy to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from ExxonMobil Corporation, Mobil Development Nigeria Inc, and Mobil Exploration Nigeria Inc, registered in Delaware, USA.

“Considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian energy sector and the larger economy, President @MBuhari has given ministerial consent to the deal.

“The President, in commitment to investment drive in light of the Petroleum Industry Act, granted consent to the Share Sales Agreement, as requested by the parties to the transaction, and directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.”

But when contacted for the reaction of the upstream regulatory commission to the development, the Chief Executive Officer, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, told our correspondent that “the commission does not work on the basis of news making the rounds.

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