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Nigerian lawmakers call state oil chief in for questions over licence

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian lawmakers have summoned the head of the state oil company to face questions about an oil mining licence that they say was withdrawn from a private-sector producer and handed to a state firm without due process.

The head of the Senate’s committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions said licence OML 13, which had belonged to Shell, was revoked and then awarded to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) “through an executive fiat” between February and March 2016.

The awarding of the contract did not go through the usual open tender or advertisement, he said.

“We have therefore summoned the group managing director Of NNPC and the managing director of Shell to appear before this committee and explain the circumstances behind the revocation and re-award of OML 13 without due process,” Senator Samuel Anyanwu said.

A spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the NPDC’s parent company did not respond to phone calls and text messages requesting comment. A Shell spokesman declined to comment.

Anyanwu said the commission intended “to compel the Senate to use its position to cause a full-scale inquiry”.

Earlier this month the Senate said it would investigate allegations made in a leaked letter by the minister of state for petroleum that NNPC Group Managing Director Maikanti Baru had not followed due process on some decisions including the allocation of contracts.

By: Additional reporting by Paul Carsten in Abuja; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

Source:af.reuters.com

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