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“Reforms In Oil & Gas Will Achieve A Win For All, Make Nigeria Globally Competitive’ – Tinubu Assures ExxonMobil Chiefs

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President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday in Abuja, said the three Executive Orders on oil and gas reforms, which he signed, will make Nigeria’s petroleum sector globally competitive.

The President made the affirmation during a meeting with a delegation from ExxonMobil Upstream Company, led by its President, Liam Mallon.

He emphasized that these reforms will ensure that no oil company faces undue challenges in the country.

The three Executive Orders, which became effective from February 28, 2024, are: Oil and Gas Companies (Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, etc.) Order, 2024; Presidential Directive on Local Content Compliance Requirements, 2024; and the Presidential Directive on Reduction of Petroleum Sector Contracting Costs and Timelines.

President Tinubu also assured the ExxonMobil delegation that the federal government is committed to resolving the divestment issues between the company and Seplat Energy, which are currently under litigation.

ExxonMobil Upstream Company, led by its President, Liam Mallon.

“We have been pushing for closure on divestment issues, and I believe the other party, Seplat, is open to this,” the President said.

The President commended the company for its show of commitment to environmental protection in Nigeria, noting its efforts in reducing gas flaring in the country.

“Nigeria is going through a lot of reforms, and we have been navigating the leadership quarters carefully to ensure that we achieve a win-win situation for all parties and attract more investments,” President Tinubu said.

The President described ExxonMobil as a worthy partner in Nigeria’s development over the decades and urged the company to remain committed to contributing to the success of his administration.

“We are close enough to be fair and blunt with you, and we are not afraid to hear from you on better options and recommendations for the growth of the industry in Nigeria,” the President said.

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The meeting, also attended by Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), and Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), discussed issues such as divestment, decommissioning, and abandonment as regards the company.

“Mr. President has given a clear directive to the NNPC GCEO and I to resolve the issue of divestment, and we are doing whatever we can to achieve that,” Lokpobiri stated.

On decommissioning and abandonment in the oil industry, Lokpobiri noted that the ministry is addressing the matter in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and global best practices.

“The reforms driven by the three Executive Orders will ensure that companies operating in Nigeria have the best environment to continue making their investments and that no company will seek to leave Nigeria,” the Minister said.

Liam Mallon, the President of ExxonMobil Upstream Company, expressed his appreciation for the support and reassurances provided by the Nigerian government and pledged the company’s long-term commitment to the country’s energy sector.

He also commended President Tinubu for his courage and conviction to undertake bold reforms within his first year in office.

Credit: Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) -May 28, 2024.

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