Seplat Energy said is yet to receive official withdrawal notification of the Ministerial Approval of the company’s proposed acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU)
The company in a statement signed by its Chief Financial Officer, Emeka Onwuka, on Thursday noted that it has received no official notification of such a decision and is seeking clarification from the relevant authorities.
“We will continue to work with all parties to achieve a successful outcome to the proposed acquisition and will provide an update in due course”, it stated
Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday gave approval to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Presidency had said.
But a few minutes later, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe has rejected Nigeria’s President Buhari’s consent for the approval of the acquisition, saying that the “status quo” remained the same revealing that as the sole regulator in the upstream sector it was by law the sole decision maker in this transaction and not the president.
About 48 hours after granting ministerial consent regarding the N1.283 billion sales and purchase deal between ExxonMobil and Seplat Energy, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday rescinded the decision.
The president, who is the de facto Minister of Petroleum Resources, blamed the lack of coordination among the concerned agencies for the confusion, explaining that he had weighed the likely ramifications of the earlier decision.
Excerpt of the press release
A press release purportedly issued by the commission contained statements that appear to contradict the President, even though they claimed it was to clarify the statement.
“The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) affirms that status quo remains in respect of ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.
The Chief Executive of the NUPRC Engr. Gbenga Komolafe clarified that the Commission in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is the sole regulator in dealing with such matters in the Nigerian upstream sector.
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.”