Buhari makes U-turn on Seplat, ExxonMobil deal

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday, reversed his authorisation of the acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

The move puts the Presidency on the side of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited which had earlier declined the $1.3bn transaction.

On Monday, a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, revealed that President Buhari consented to acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares by Seplat Energy Offshore Ltd.

According to the Presidency, Buhari authorised the move in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum as a way to attract Foreign Direct Investment to the country.

But giving an update on the issue, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, told our correspondent that Buhari had reversed the decision and the previous misunderstanding was because the “agencies involved in (the) decision had not coordinated well among themselves.”

Earlier, Shehu, who spoke to an online publication, said the President’s reversal of his earlier approval was in line with the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.

According to him, the confusion over ExxonMobil shares was because “the various agencies involved in the decision had not coordinated well among themselves and having looked at all of the facts with all of the ramifications, the…

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