The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at its corporate offices in Abuja, transferred the asset title of Ogboyega North and South coal blocks to the Orbit Exploration and Natural Products Limited (OENPL) with a charge by BPE’s Director General, Mr. Alex A,Okoh for the new investor to justify the Federal Government’s high expectations to optimize the coal blocks.
Recall that the coal blocks were acquired by Western Metal Products Company Limited (WEMPCO) in 2007 but in March 2019, WEMPCO requested for approval from the BPE to transfer the Coal blocks’ Mineral title documents to Orbit Exploration & Natural Products Limited (OENPL).
Okoh expressed optimism that the takeover by OENPL would lead to effective management of the two coal blocks and boost the economy of the host communities and Nigeria at large.
He added that by signing the agreement, “OENPL will assume all rights, privileges and obligations as contained in the original Asset Sale & Purchase Agreement (ASPA) executed between the Bureau and Western Metal Products Company Limited (WEMPCO) in 2007”.
The Director General also said, OENPL has agreed to operate according to BPE’s mandate and that the new investor would remain on the monitoring framework of the Bureau.
Twelve years after privatisation, the coal blocks operated below expectations which led the company to be classified as a non-performing enterprise.
As part of Federal Government economic recovery and growth plan, the government directed the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to identify the causes of the non-performance of some of the privatised enterprises and proffer viable solutions towards their resuscitation.
In March 2019, WEMPCO requested for approval from the BPE, to transfer the Mineral Titles of the Coal Blocks to Orbit Exploration & Natural Products Limited (OENPL). The request, which is in line with provisions of Article 18.6 of the SSPA signed with WEMPCO in 2007, prompted the Bureau to conduct due diligence on the technical and financial capabilities of Orbit Exploration & Natural Products Limited and its conformity with the operational guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
A Director with OENPL, Mr. John Ndanusa Akanya, commended BPE and the Federal Government for the seamless transfer of the asset title documents to his company which he said is a wholly Nigerian company.
He promised to make the coal blocks work effectively so that the Federal Government would achieve the purpose for which the company was established.
Ibeh, Uzoma Chidi
Head, Public Communications
April 14, 2022.