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Reps prevent planned sale of $1 billion worth of oil assets

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The House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) , to suspend the planned auction of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 11 for $250 million when it has been bidded for $1 billion.

At the plenary on Wednesday, the House “urge the Federal Government, particularly the NPDC, to suspend the planned auction and sale of the OML 11 asset until relevant issues are resolved”.

The House also mandated its Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to “urgently investigate the planned auction, among other matters, and report back within four weeks”.

Sponsor of the motion of urgent public importance leading to the resolutions, Hon. Victor Mela noted that the oil field under OML 11 was formerly operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) under a joint venture and it had been idle since the firm was forced out of Ogoniland in 1993.

Mela recalled that in a Court of Appeal judgment of 16th August 2021, the SPDC joint venture lost its right to renewal of the operating license, while OML 11 was thereafter renovated and invested on an operating subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

He said: “The House is worried that there are unresolved issues between the government and the host communities of Ogoni that are currently fuelling resistance and restiveness amongst the people

“The House is worried that the government is involved in under-the-table or covert arrangements to auction OML 11 assets to Sahara Energy Limited for a paltry sum of $250 million as against the $1 billion offered by the SPDC.

“The House is concerned with the need to urgently clarify and resolve issues associated with the planned auction among other matters”.

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