Confusion as Buhari reversed approval of Billionaire Bryant Orjiako Seplat Energy, Mobil $1.3 billion Oil deal


President Muhammadu Buhari has reversed his authorisation of the acquisition of ExxonMobil Corporation assets by Seplat Energy Plc.

In February, Seplat had agreed to acquire the entire share capital of MPNU from Exxon Mobil for $1.3 billion.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, disclosed this to Premium Times, on Wednesday. 

Shehu said the president has decided to support the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in the deal.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the acquisition of ExxonMobil Corporation assets by Seplat Energy Plc despite moves by the state-owned oil company blocking the deal.

But in a twist of events, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said the issue at stake was a regulatory matter, adding that status would remain on the issue. 

The regulator had previously declined to consent to the proposcquisition deal. 

In May, NUPRC had declined to approve the proposed acquisition due to “overriding national interest”.

In a corporate filing on Wednesday, Seplat Energy said it followed due process in the acquisition of the assets.

“Seplat Energy has become aware of news and social media reports alleging impropriety in the process of securing ministerial consent to the acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited,” the statement reads.

“Such reports are wholly untrue and the company will pursue legal action against any parties involved in disseminating false information related to its business.”

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