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Our reforms will make Nigeria competitive globally, Tinubu tells ExxonMobil executives

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President Bola Tinubu, has told investors that the three Executive Orders on oil and gas reforms, which he signed, will make Nigeria’s petroleum sector globally competitive.

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

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

Tinubu, according to a statement issued by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, also assured the ExxonMobil delegation that the federal government was committed to resolving the divestment issues, currently in court, between the company and Seplat Energy.

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

Mr Tinubu 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,” he said.

He 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.

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

Lokpobiri stated, “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.”

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

He said, “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.”

Earlier in his speech, Mallon 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 Tinubu for his courage and conviction to undertake bold reforms within his first year in office.

 

 

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