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How FG earned $1bn renewal bonuses from 22 Oil blocks -DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has explained how it generated $1 billion (N360 billion) from renewal bonuses of 22 oil blocks.

According to the regulatory agency’s spokesman, Mr Paul Osu, there were no irregularities associated with any lease renewal, stressing that the $1 billion was generated through accelerated early lease renewal programme.

He said the process was ingeniously developed to expand and speed up earning potential from the renewal programme for the government and to create security of title to leaseholders to allow them to continue the massive investments needed to improve production from their fields.

The regulatory agency, in reaction to allegation made by the House of Representatives of irregularities in the renewal of oil and gas leases resulting in revenue loss to the Federal Government, Osu said the oil renewal programme was hinged on the provisions of the petroleum Act LFN 2004 which mandated the holder of an Oil Mining Lease (OML) to apply for renewal at least one year to its expiration.

That, he said, enabled the receipt, processing and approval of 22 Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) which resulted in payment of renewal bonuses in excess of $1 billion.

“The lease renewal process starts with application to DPR from the leaseholder and it is subjected to rigorous statutory regulatory process before transmission to the minister of state for review and a recommendation to the President for final approval,” the statement said.