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Reps mandate NPDC to halt proposed auction of $1bn oil assets

The House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, to suspend the planned auction of Oil Mining Licence 11 for $250m when it has been bid for $1bn.

The PUNCH reported that during plenary on Wednesday, the House in a motion urged the federal government, particularly the NPDC, to suspend the planned auction and sale of the OML 11 asset until relevant issues are resolved.

Coupled with the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to urgently investigate the planned auction, among other matters, and report back within four weeks.

Victor Mela, who sponsored the motion, noted that the oil field under OML 11 was formerly operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company under a joint venture and it had been idle since the firm was forced out of Ogoniland in 1993.

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 $250m as against the $1bn 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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