• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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FG pledges transparency as 2024 oil block bid rounds begin

Gbenga Komolafe

The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, (NUPRC) has announced that it has commenced the process for the 2024 oil bid rounds, offering about 12 oil blocks to investors.

Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC disclosed this at the first edition of the NEITI House Dialogue organised by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Abuja on Monday.

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According to Komolafe, the 12 assets being put on offer are mostly greenfield assets, assuring of a fair and transparent bidding process.

He said, “It is my pleasure to announce to you that the 2024 licensing round as prescribed in the Petroleum Industry Act will commence from the end of this month and we will be going offshore to market it as part of our job.

“Our job equally entails marketing of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources to prospective investors. So we are going to do that, and the process has commenced. We’ve set very clear criteria to guide the implementation of the process from the beginning to the end transparently.

“The assets that are being put on offer are mostly greenfield assets, so they are virgin assets and so to accurately quantify the amount to be generated might be difficult since they are greenfield assets.”

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NUPRC grew revenue to N4.34 trn in 2023

Komolafe who explained that the Commission grew its revenue to N4.34 trillion in 2023 from N3.78 trillion in 2022, adding that the country is expected to earn billions of dollars from the assets in terms of royalties, taxies and other levies to be generated from the bid round.

“We are currently putting on offer 12 blocks. But remember that we commenced a bid process in 2022 where we put 17 offshore assets on offer but as the date grew close to the last election we had to put a hold on it.

“However, right now we are completing that process and we are equally having 12 new bid rounds. So in totality we target to complete the 17 blocks and the ones on offer between now and early next year.”

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Speaking further, the CCE said that the commission, is currently making a comprehensive review of all the awarded assets to identify the ones that are under-performing, adding that the commission would revoke the awards granted to the idle blocks.

“They are idle and do not add value to the nation. So what we’ve done in that respect is that we’ve invoked the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act to bring these assets into the basket and let then go through the competitive bid process as provided under Sections 73 and 74 of the PIA.

“Recall that the PIA has outlawed discretionary award of assets and so the award of assets now go through a fair, competitive and transparent process,” he stated.

In his remarks, Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary, NEITI, stated that the Forum is a platform organised to host notable policy makers in Nigeria’s extractive industries and related sectors with a view to deepen not just government oversight and reforms in the extractive sector, but make it inclusive of all stakeholders.