Nigeria – DPR 'delays' planned acquisition by Oando Plc
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Monday faulted the alleged claims by indigenous oil and gas firm, Oando Plc, that its planned acquisition of the business interests of the United States firm, ConocoPhillips (COP), was being threatened by delays to its consent by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
DPR said in Abuja that such claims amounted to deliberate arm-twisting tactics adopted by both parties, Oando Plc and COP, to force the federal government into signing off the $1.55 billion oil assets acquisition deal without due diligence on the transaction.
Director of DPR, George Osahon, told journalists that reports alleging that Alison-Madueke had deliberately refused to consent to the deal were untrue, especially in the light of the processes and the time frame involved in the transaction.
Osahon explained that documents to the oil field transaction were only submitted to the minister two months ago to “rubber stamp” the transaction without the DPR conducting the statutory due diligence on the transaction, after Oando and COP had concluded their negotiations among others.
He noted that the process was patently wrong and a direct affront to the government which was not carried along as expected from both parties.
“The very first documents sent to government were two months ago and that is also by their own admission. So, what we are saying is why are they using arm-twisting tactics?