Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has explained that the Oil Mining Lease (OML) offer to Addax Petroleum Nigeria Limited was revoked, because there was no ministerial consent as required before its attempted sale by the firm
Addressing the House of Representatives Committee on petroleum Resources (upstream) on Thursday, Sylva also denied that there was any breach of law or procedure in the revocation, adding that Nigeria would have lost revenue due to absence of the ministerial consent which usually attracts a fee.
He said that there was an issue of mismanagement of the asset and the asset was bought by Sinopec a Chinese company in 2009, adding that the asset was sold by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) when the agency confirmed that there was no ministerial consent on the sale of the asset.
According to him, there was a clash of interest on the matter as
“I as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the NNPC wrote separate memos to the President on the sale of the asset. I wrote a memo to Mr President for approval and the NNPC wrote a memo against my memo”
On whether the sale of the sale was in accordance with the laws, he cited Article 24 of the Petroleum Act, which provided that the Minister may revoke any Oil Prospecting License or Oil Mining Lease if the licence becomes directly or indirectly controlled by any external force.
Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Sarki Adar, and other committee members had earlier decried the manner the sale of the company’s asset to Sinopec, a Chinese Company was hurriedly carried out.