Nigeria's petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd (SPDC) have been fingered in the shady sale of four oil blocks worth $380 billion (N58.9trillion), a petition to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, disclosed yesterday.
The petition also alleged that two days before President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the Federal Executive Council in 2011, officials of Shell and Alison-Madueke secretly transferred production rights in four large oil blocks, Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) 26, 30, 34 and 42, to Mr. Jide Omokore's Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, a company that neither tendered nor bidded for the blocks.
The petition was delivered by representatives of protesting Delta State oil producing communities comprising Itsekiri, Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko and Ndokwa who yesterday morning stormed and occupied the National Assembly for hours. The communities called on the National Assembly to commence immediate probe into the contentious sale.
The protesters lamented what they described as a deliberate exclusion of indigenous rights of first refusal and the absence of transparent and open competitive bidding of Oil Mining Licences (OMLs) 26, 30, 34 and 42 respectively.
Chief Ayiri Emami who led the protesters threatened to shut down the wells if the relevant arms of government failed to respond to the yearnings of the people within 14 days.
The groups prayed the National Assembly to, besides investigating the allegations; suspend the handing over of the OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42 to Atlantic Energy and Septa Energy pending the determination of the issues raised in the petition.
"By this deal, 60 per cent of NPDC's 55 per cent stake of these assets is about five billion barrels, which when calculated with the 2013 Crude Oil benchmark comes to $380billion or N58.9 trillion. This figure is exclusive of the 4trillion cubic feet of gas asset in the blocks valued at $15.72trillion.
"The 'game' behind this deal is brought sharply into focus by noting the fact that, on OML 26, 30, 34, and 42, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke's no-bid approach via the so-called 'Strategic Alliance Agreement,' fetched the Federation Account an upfront cash payment of little more than $50million as initial entrance fee from Atlantic Energy, while SPDC's open and competitive bidding process, though excluding indigenes of the area on the other hand, got $1.3billion from Heritage Oil Plc. For its 45 per cent Joint Venture beneficial stake of the same block," they claimed.