The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has allegedly advised President Muhammadu Buhari to cede the controversial OPL 245 oil bloc to oil firms, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, Premium Times reports.
Details of the advice were contained in a leaked memo titled: “Re: Forwarding of Case File in Respect of Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/268/17 and FCT/HC/CR/124/2017 – Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd” written by the oil minister in December 2017 asking Buhari to abide by a settlement agreement signed by his predecessors ceding the lucrative oil bloc to the companies. Kachikwu added that if Buhari decided to go against the Settlement Agreement or “take steps that will undermine its integrity” it may turn out costly for the country in the long run.
He then explained that instead of abrogating the agreement, the government should use it as a means of acquiring a stake in OPL 245 by converting it to a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with Shell and Eni. “This will not only ensure that Nigeria will bear no funding obligation for the development of the block, but will be a strategic, yet commercial, approach and solution to the OPL 245 issue which will ensure that Nigeria is focused on obtaining an immediate benefit from OPL 245,” he wrote.