Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has reversed authorisation of Seplat Energy’s takeover of ExxonMobil’s shallow water business in Nigeria, intervening instead behind the regulator’s $1.3 billion transaction decline.
A spokesperson said the president decided the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is to be supported, and the earlier confusion was because “various agencies involved in (the) decision had not coordinated well among themselves.”
“It has become clear that the various agencies involved in decision had not coordinated well among themselves and having looked at all of the facts with all of the ramifications, the president decided the position of the regulator is to be supported,” spokesperson Garba Shehu told newsmen on Wednesday evening.
The NUPRC had on Monday said the proposed takeover of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat, an indigenous oil firm, was a regulatory matter and it had notified ExxonMobil the transaction could not go through.
“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,” said a statement by NUPRC chief executive, Gbenga Komolafe.
“The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) affirms that status quo remains in respect of ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.