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OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUHARI FOR THE IMMEDIATE STOPPAGE OF STERLING ENERGY AND EXPLORATION PRODUCTION LIMITED


OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUHARI FOR THE IMMEDIATE STOPPAGE OF STERLING ENERGY AND EXPLORATION PRODUCTION LIMITED (SEEPCO)/NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION CONSPIRACY TO HIJACK OML 13 OTAKPATE OIL FIELD IN AKWA-IBOM STATE; AN ASSET OWNED 100% BY NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY/NNPC.



An award of Oil Mining Lease 13 (Otakpate Oil Field) in Otakpate Community of Akwa Ibom State by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to Sterling Energy and Exploration Production Limited, an Indian group to operate and drill oil is a foreign direct investment that is capable of developing our local economy, and as such a welcome development.

2. However, in developing our local economy, where there is direct foreign investment, our total asset cannot be handed over to foreign companies where there are indigenous companies with requisite expertise, technology and capacity. This administration must promote and enforce the local content law which promotes local participation in the exploration of our natural resources by ensuring the patronage of qualified indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

3. The London Conspiracy by a section of the management of NNPC to hand over OML 13 Total Asset which contains a blend of light and heavy sweet crude oil (typically 41* to 45* API) and natural gas completely to SEEPCO for both extraction of crude oil and natural gas is against the principles of local content law which provides for developments in localizing management and control of the oil and gas industry as initiated and promoted by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC), and enforced through Local Content Law and Petroleum Industry Governance Law.

4. Our petroleum industry accounts for over 40 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product with billions of dollars investments worth. Despite this enormous wealth, there have been a conspicuous absence of indigenous players in these transactions, where about 90 percent of the equipment and personnel used in the industry are imported, causing capital flight from our economy.

5. The local content law provides an enforcement towards indigenous content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. This law expressly specifies that Nigerian independent operators should be accorded “first consideration” in the award of oil and gas related contracts and that Nigerian service companies should also be given “exclusive consideration” for contracts and services where Nigerian companies compete with international oil companies. The local content law also seeks to increase indigenous participation by prescribing a minimum threshold for the use of local services and promoting the employment of Nigerian staff in the industry.

6. In Oil Mining Leases 34 (Otorogu in Delta State), 111 (Oredo in Edo State) and others too numerous to mention, mining for oil and gas is done by both local and foreign companies. Why are the local companies being shot out of OML 13? This is a puzzle this administration must solve in line with the change mantra of integrity and fairness that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power.

7. In OML 13, SEEPCO should be made to choose between Gas or Crude Oil; as the local content law prohibits SEEPCO from hijacking all total asset of OML 13. Should SEEPCO choose to drill crude oil or gas, any qualified Nigerian local company should be given the license to extract for the other; this is the only way to develop our local economy, create employment and empower employees of local companies who are dying of unpaid salaries, poverty and disease as a result of compromise in government policies and projects that are unfavorable to our local companies.

8. This conspiracy is another corruption. All Nigerian citizens must rise up to fight corruption in every aspect of our national life for us to realize the country of our dream. The reason for this letter is to bring to the attention of Mr. President and Minister of Petroleum the irreparable damage this compromise on the part of NPDC-NNPC will cause to our local economy if this conspiracy to cede all the total asset of OML 13 to SEEPCO is not nipped in the bud.

9. I hereby urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and other authorities copied below to as a matter of urgency stop this conspiracy to deprive the participation of qualified local companies in OML 13 Otakpati Oil Field. OUR LOCAL COMPANIES MUST BE PATRONIZED to develop our local economy.

Thank you.


Dr. Blessing Agbomhere
Executive Secretary
Gatekeepers Foundation
+234 8066804040


Cc:
Secretary General, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC);
President of the Nigerian Senate;
Speaker of the House of Representatives;
Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation;
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Monitoring Board;
Executive Governor, Akwa Ibom State;
Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum;
Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content;
President, Nigerian Labour Congress;
Director General of State Security Services;
National Security Adviser.

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