FG’ll approve Shell’s $2.4bn asset sale – Minister

The Federal Government is not going to impede legitimate business transactions in the oil sector and won’t waste time to approval the $2.4bn onshore asset sale of Shell, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has said.

He, however, pointed out that this would be based on the fact that the oil major provides the necessary documents.

Shell, a British energy major, recently announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary – Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, to Renaissance for $2.4bn after about a century of operations in the NIger Delta.

Renaissance, a consortium of five companies comprising four exploration and production companies based in Nigeria and an international energy group, confirmed the deal.

Shell had stated in a statement that the “completion of the transaction is subject to approvals by the Federal Government of Nigeria and other conditions.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Lokpobiri addressed Shell’s decision to sell its onshore assets to the consortium of five Nigerian and international companies.

He affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment in the oil and gas sector, according to a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by his media aide, Nneamaka Okafor.

Commenting on the divestment move of Shell, the minister said, “On the part of the government, once we get the necessary documents, we will not waste time to give the necessary considerations and consent.”

Responding to concerns about international oil companies diversifying their onshore assets, the minister highlighted the positive aspects of the diversification.

He noted that Nigeria loses nothing, as such moves create opportunities for indigenous companies with the capacity to acquire and professionally manage these assets, leading to increased profitability and the maximisation of their potential.

Addressing potential negative impacts on the country, Lokpobiri reassured Nigerians that the diversification would not adversely affect Nigeria.

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