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2023: Peter Obi should lead Nigeria – Bode George

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Bode Goerge

Chief Olabode George, an elder statesman and former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said that Peter Obi, former Anambra State Governor, is competent and has all it takes to serve Nigeria at the highest level.

George gave his view on Obi on Tuesday, when latter visited stakeholders and executives of the party in Lagos State in respect of his presidential aspiration.

He said that Obi should be given the chance to salvage Nigeria from further failure.

“I knew Peter Obi even before he became governor. He has a firm background of entrepreneurship, expert knowledge of finance and economy, and sound record of public service, considering what he did in Anambra State.

“Nigeria definitely needs a capable leader like Peter Obi to rescue it from the myriad of challenges it is contending with. I urge Nigerians to support him and give him the chance to fix our nation,” he said.

In his reaction, Obi urged the leadership of the PDP to elect someone with capacity, competence and commitment as its candidate.

Obi, who stated that the country needs a candidate that can change its trajectory, said it is very important for the country not to make a mistake in its presidential choice in 2023.

He said: “I came here to consult and dialogue as a family member in the PDP and most importantly to continue to explain to the people on the dire need not to make mistake in 2023.

“The country is going through a very difficult path and we must not allow it to continue, otherwise all of us will pay for the consequences.”

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FG halts Seplat’s $1.28bn Mobil Oil acquisition deal

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images 2022 05 19T125156.775

The federal government of Nigeria, has declined approval for the proposed Seplat Energy’s acquisition of oil and gas assets belonging to Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU).

The Nigerian government which communicated its formal response declining the approval in two separate letters addressed to the Chairman and Managing director of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Mr. Richard Laing, as well as the immediate past Chairman of Seplat Energy, Dr. ABC Orjiako, cited overriding national interest.

The letter was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe and dated May 13, 2022.

Komolafe had in the letter maintained that regardless of the mode of the transaction, Mobil Oil still remains to all intents and purposes, the assignor of the asset under Nigerian law.

Komolafe stated, “We also note that MPNU failed to follow the procedure for assignments laid down in the Guidelines by not providing the requisite notices to the Commission at all relevant stages of the transaction. Even if the transaction has been between Seplat Energy Offshore Limited and the MPNU shareholders, responsibility to ensure compliance with Nigerian laws, rules and regulations always remain that of MPNU, the entity that was awarded the assets.

“We regret to inform you that His Excellency, the Minister of Petroleum Resources has declined his consent to the transaction.

“Nothing in this letter shall be deemed to be a waiver, on the part of the Commission, of any rights under the Guidelines, any law, rule or regulation, and the Commission reserves all its rights in respect of the subject matter. Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem,” the Commission’s boss stated in the letter addressed to Laing, with reference number: NUPRC/LD/1189/01, titled: “Re: Potential Sale and Purchase of the Equity (Shares) of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.”

Komolafe in his letter obtained by ThisDay, also made reference to the multinational oil company’s letter dated March 30, 2022 with Ref: MPN-PGA-NUP-CCE-0322-0027 on the above subject matter.

He highlighted the contents of the letter MPNU wrote then to the NUPRC on the proposed acquisition, and in particular, the section that stated that the transaction was between parties who were not privy to the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the MPNU dated June 28, 1990, and that does not trigger any relevant rights or obligations under the JOA for either NNPC or MPNU.

Similarly, the MPNU had stated in the letter that the sale of shares by shareholders of MPNU would have no bearing on the consent or preferential right and option requirements of the JOA in favour of NNPC and that the NNPC does not have preferential rights in respect to the transaction.

In addition, the regulator made reference to another aspect of the letter Mobil wrote to it on the matter that, the MPNU shareholders would be proceeding with their efforts to satisfy the conditions required for the approval of the proposed transaction, and the procurement of the consent of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Going further, the Commission pointed out that: “You may also be aware that the Commission is in receipt of a letter of 10th March 2022, written by Seplat Energy to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, requesting the consent of the Minister of Petroleum Resources to the transaction. This letter was received by the Commission on March 30, 2022.

“Please be advised that even if the transaction in question were between parties who are not privy to the JOA, MPNU remains the leaseholder of the assets subject to the transaction and the focal point of contact with the federal government of Nigeria on any matter or dealings with the assets.

“Also note that overriding National interest will always be the compass of the law. Paragraph 3.1.1 of the guidelines also expressly restates that assignment shall include, but not be limited to: ‘assignment by way of exchange or transfer of shares: This shall entail the acquisition of part or all of the shares of a company which holds an OPL, OML, MF or OGPL in Nigeria

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Buhari leaves on a condolence visit to Abu Dhabi

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Buhari departs

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to meet the new President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to convey his condolences on the passing of the former president and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), the President who was expected to depart Abuja on Thursday, will also extend his congratulations to the new President, renewing bonds of the longstanding friendship between Nigeria and the UAE.

The statement recalled that President Buhari, in an earlier congratulatory message to the new UAE leader, had reaffirmed Nigeria’s cordial relationship with the country, noting that the cooperation between both governments has helped Nigeria in tracking down illegal assets and tracing terrorist funds.

“Under the new leadership, President Buhari looks forward to a bigger and stronger partnership for peace, stability and prosperity of both countries,” the statement reads.

President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

Other members of his delegation are the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Monguno (Rtd) and the  Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

He is expected to return from the trip on Saturday.

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