An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday reopened investigation into the controversial $1.1billion award of Oil Prospecting Licence 245, better known as ‘Malabu Oil Deal.’
Lawmakers said Nigeria could not afford to lose an equivalent of “N500billion”, the local value of the money, using the current naira to US dollar exchange rate.
The committee, which is chaired by a member from Kwara State, Razak Atunwa, held a session with some of the key players in the deal at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Among those whose representatives met with the committee were Shell and Agip.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was also represented at the session where it was directed to provide information on the outcome of its investigation into the deal within two weeks.
The so-called ‘Malabu oil deal’ centres on a controversy around the 2011 sale of an oil block – OPL245 – from the indigenous company Malabu to Shell and ENI.
The transaction was mired in serious allegations of corruption.
The OPL 245 block licence has long been the subject of dispute. It was first awarded a decade ago by late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha in 1995 to Malabu Oil & Gas for a publicly-stated $20m.
After the death of Abacha, the Obsanjo government annulled the deal. However, Malabu’s licence was reinstated in 2006.
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