Seplat reacts to Buhari’s purported reversal of ExxonMobil deal

By EDU ABADE, Business Editor

Seplat Energy has responded to reports claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari has withdrawn the ministerial approval of the company’s proposed acquisition of the share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU).

In a statement issued by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Emeka Onwuka against an earlier statement purportedly signed by the company’s Director of External Affairs and Sustainability, Chioma Nwachuku, Seplat Energy disclosed that it has not received any official notification of such a decision and was 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,” the statement said.

Onwuka further said the announcement was made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange 2015 (Issuer’s Rule), adding: “This announcement has been authorised for publication on behalf of Seplat Energy by the Chief Financial Officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Emeka Onwuka.”

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 The Trumpet recalled that President Buhari had on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, reversed his authorisation of the acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited, a move that demonstrated the Presidency’s support for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, which earlier declined the $1.3 billion worth of transaction.

 A statement earlier issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, revealed that the President consented to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

 According to the Presidency, Buhari authorised the move in his capacity as the Minister of Petroleum Resources to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) into the country.

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

 Earlier, Shehu said the President’s reversal of his earlier approval was in line with the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

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