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FG Rescinds Decision To Sell Oil Asset Stake

The Federal Government has rescinded its decision to sell some of its stakes in its joint venture (JV) oil assets.

This was revealed after the government did not include the sale of the JV oil asset stakes in the highlights of the 2020 budget presented by Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, just before its assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari had while approving the 2019 budget, instructed that the JV oil assets be sold “so as to reduce government shareholding to not less than 40 per cent and that this exercise must be completed within the 2019 fiscal year”.

But in the 2020 fiscal document, the expected sale of the JV oil assets was not reflected.

“The overall revenue performance in 2018 is only 55 per cent of the target in the 2018 budget partly because some one-off items such as the N710bn from Oil Joint Venture Asset restructuring and N320bn from revision of the Oil Production Sharing Contract legislation/terms have yet to be actualised and have thus been rolled over to 2019.

“We have again reflected projected proceeds from oil assets ownership restructuring as revenues for transparency and monitoring. Expected funds have been earmarked to fund critical capital projects as this was not achieved in 2018,” the document read.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns 55 per cent stake in its JV with Shell and 60 per cent stakes with others, including Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Under the JV arrangement, both the NNPC and private operators contribute to the funding of operations in the proportion of their equity holdings and generally receive the produced crude oil in the same ratio.

The current administration had in its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan released in 2017 said it would reduce its stakes in JV oil assets, refineries and other downstream subsidiaries such as pipelines and depots.

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