The Senate on Tuesday said it will probe into Nigeria’s recent oil deal with India, which is worth over $80bn, and another with China worth $15bn, with an additional $20bn deal with China’s two biggest petroleum companies.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly has therefore mandated its Committees on Petroleum (Upstream), Petroleum (Downstream), Petroleum (Gas) and Foreign Affairs to summon the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, to explain the details of the deals.

The move was made following a motion moved by the lawmaker representing Edo-Central Senatorial District, Senator Clifford Ordia, titled, ‘The Need for a Detailed Explanation of the $15bn Proposed MoU with Indian Government and Over $80bn MoU Signed by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources with Chinese Firms.’

“The Senate observes that outside these (MoU for $80bn investments), the two largest oil companies in China, Sinopec and CNOOC, signed investment MoUs with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, committing the companies to further investments in Nigeria’s upstream oil sub-sector to the tune of $20bn,” Ordia said while moving the motion.

The senator said the Senate was aware that the Minister of State for Petroleum negotiated a $15bn investment with India, where the Indian government would make an upfront payment to Nigeria for crude oil purchases.

He said, “The Senate is further aware that the two countries have agreed to sign an Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate investments by India in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, and specifically in areas such as refining, oil and gas marketing, upstream ventures, the development of gas infrastructure and in the training of oil and gas personnel in Nigeria.

“The Senate notes that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources also carried out a road show in China, where a Memorandum of Understanding worth over $80bn to be spent on investments in oil and gas infrastructure, pipelines, refineries, power, facility refurbishments and upstream financing spanning five years were signed with Chinese companies.”

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

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