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Buhari Makes U-turn, Reverses Sale Of ExxonMobil Shares

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President Muhammadu Buhari has reversed his approval authorising the sale of assets of ExxonMobil to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
The Star recalls that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Monday, said President Buhari approved the purchase of Exxon Mobil shares by Seplat.

Adesina, in a statement, noted that the President gave ministerial consent to the deal after considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian energy sector and the larger economy.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in the latest development, told an online publication that Buhari’s reversal of his earlier approval was in line with the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

He noted that the confusion over ExxonMobil shares was because “the various agencies involved in the decision had not coordinated well among themselves”.“Having looked at all of the facts with all of the ramifications, the President decided the position of the regulator is to be supported.”

It has been reported that the regulatory agency declared that the firms should maintain status quo.

The NUPRC Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, in a statement issued on Monday, said the issue was regulatory and the commission had earlier informed the decline of the ministerial assent on the issue.

“The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) affirms that status quo remains in respect of ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.

“As it were, the issue at stake is purely a regulatory matter and the Commission had earlier communicated the decline of Ministerial assent to ExxonMobil in this regard. As such the Commission further affirms that the status quo remains,” Komolafe had said.

The NUPRC boss added that the commission, as the sole regulator of the issue in Nigeria’s upstream sector in accord with Petroleum Industry Act 2021, was committed to ensuring a predictable and conducive regulatory environment at all times in the Nigerian upstream sector.

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