The House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, to suspend the planned auction of Oil Mining License 11 for 250 million dollars when it had been offered for 1,000 million dollars.

In Wednesday’s plenary session, the Chamber in particular “urges the Federal Government, in particular the NPDC, to suspend the planned auction and sale of the OML 11 asset until the relevant issues are resolved.”

The House also ordered its Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to “urgently investigate the planned auction, among other matters, and report back within four weeks.”

The sponsor of the motion of urgent public importance that led to the resolutions, Victor Mela, noted that the oil field under OML 11 was previously operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company under a joint venture and had been inactive since the company was forced to leave Ogoniland in 1993.

Mela noted that in a Court of Appeal ruling on 16 August 2021, the SPDC joint venture forfeited its right to operating license renewal, while OML 11 was subsequently renewed and invested in an operating subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

He said: “The Chamber is concerned that there are unresolved issues between the government and the Ogoni host communities that are currently fueling resistance and unrest among the people.

“The Chamber is concerned that the government is involved in hidden or covert arrangements to auction off the OML 11 assets to Sahara Energy Limited for a paltry sum of $250 million compared to the $1 billion offered by SPDC.

“The Chamber is concerned about the need to urgently clarify and resolve the issues associated with the planned auction, among other matters.”

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