The Nigerian government has announced the conclusion of the bid round for the award of 57 marginal oilfields, won by 161 of the bidding companies.
The 161 successful bidders emerged from a pool of over 600 indigenous oil companies that jostled for the 57 marginal fields in the process that commenced in June 2020.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this on Tuesday in Lagos on the sidelines of the 2021 first quarter ministerial meeting of the chief executives of agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources that letters informing the winners of the outcome had gone out.
He, however, did not disclose the identities of the winners of the bid. He stated that the Nigerian government had received almost 50 per cent of the signature bonuses.
“The process has been concluded. Letters have gone out and people have started paying their signature bonuses. We have received almost 50 per cent of signature bonuses already.
“One hundred and sixty-one companies were allocated marginal fields and I will not give you the details of how many have paid. I’ve told you that up to 50 per cent of those winners have paid,” Sylva said.
He described the bidding process as the best in terms of transparency and that assessment of bidders was done by competent consultants.
“I think this is the best we could have gotten clearly. If you followed the processes, we published, people applied, companies were pre-qualified, and companies went to the data room and of course, assessment of their bids was done by competent people.
“There were consultants involved in the whole process and bidders emerged, and that’s all I can say. It was a very transparent process and I think a lot of people are also hailing the process,” he added.
Speaking on some marketers selling petrol above the approved price of N162 per litre, the minister described that as unfortunate and wondered what the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) was doing about it.
He said: “That’s unfortunate, we hear that. I should be asking what the DPR is doing about it. Definitely, there is no fuel (price) increment, I’ve announced that. The price remains N162 per litre.”
He said the government was still in discussion with labour and other stakeholders, adding that until all the discussions were concluded, the government would not fully deregulate.
Sylva charged agencies to ensure that deviant marketers were sanctioned.
On the performance of the ministry since his assumption of office, Sylva said the ministry, through its yearly assessment had achieved six of the nine mandate areas.