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Buhari backs down, supports regulator’s rejection of Seplat’s purchase of ExxonMobil asset

President Muhammadu Buhari has reversed his authorisation of Seplat Energy’s takeover of ExxonMobil’s shallow water business in Nigeria, throwing his weight instead behind the regulator’s decline of the $1.3 billion transaction.

A spokesperson said the president decided the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is to be supported, and the earlier confusion was because “various agencies involved in (the) decision had not coordinated well among themselves.”

“It has become clear that the various agencies involved in decision had not coordinated well among themselves and having looked at all of the facts with all of the ramifications, the president decided the position of the regulator is to be supported,” spokesperson Garba Shehu told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday evening in response to persistent enquiry by one of our reporters.

The NUPRC had on Monday said the proposed takeover of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat, an indigenous oil firm, was a regulatory matter and it had notified ExxonMobil the transaction could not go through.

ExxonMobil

“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,” said a statement by NUPRC chief executive, Gbenga Komolafe.

“The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) affirms…

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