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PENGASSAN raises concern over divested oil and gas asset management  

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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called to question the management system of divested oil and gas assets in the country, stating that vested interests are causing challenges in the sector.

On Wednesday, October 11, the final day of its Energy and Labour Summit held in Abuja, the PENGASSAN President, Comrade Festus Osifo said that divested assets in the country are not properly managed, and this has caused a lack of trust in the system because people with vested interests are out to adopt cronyism as opposed to protecting national interests.

He said:

Meanwhile, Engr. Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), stated that selling off assets in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is not all negative.

He pointed out that it can boost local capabilities and create jobs for Nigerians.

Wabote mentioned that over the last ten years, 26 oil mining licenses in the Niger Delta area have been either sold or acquired by oil and gas companies.

He highlighted ongoing divestments, including Shell and ExxonMobil planning to sell oil and gas assets worth billions of dollars.

Additionally, Eni has announced an agreement with Oando PLC for the sale of NAOC interests in six onshore blocks and the Okpai gas power plant in Delta State.

However, Wabote also acknowledged challenges in asset divestment in Nigeria.

He cited the lack of access to advanced technologies, especially if the new investors lack technical expertise or support from regional technology manufacturers.

He also mentioned potential job losses when a new company doesn’t re-hire all the previous owners’ staff.

Nevertheless, Wabote emphasized that asset divestment shows that Nigerians and indigenous companies have developed the technical, managerial, and financial capabilities to compete on a larger scale.

 

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