OML 29 Not for Sale, Says Aiteo Group


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Aiteo Group has described as false, a report that the recent appointment of Bruce Burrows as its Chief Financial Officer was aimed at finding a buyer for part of the company’s Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29, saying that it has no plan to sell part of its plum assets.

The company has also described the peddlers of the fake news as fraudsters running reports-for-cash syndicate, who mislead the public by suggesting that a portion of the shareholding of the company that holds OML 29 had been put up for sale to repay a loan.

Aiteo’s Senior Manager in charge of Corporate Communications, Mr. Ndiana Matthew said in a statement yesterday that the company did not consider, initiate, or announced the commencement of any plans to sell off any of its stake in OML 29.

“The reasons are patently clear. First, since the takeover of the asset, we have successfully quadrupled production that it would be commercially inept to consider a disposal of any sort, now. Second, there are several legitimate entities that constitute ownership of the oil block, such that it would be practically impossible for us to unilaterally consider disposing of the asset. As such, we urge the public to summarily disregard these unsavoury and fabricated reports in their entirety,” the statement said.

The statement added that the claim that Burrows’ recent appointment as the company’s Chief Financial Officer was aimed at finding a buyer for part of Aiteo’s assets was spurious.

“All of our stakeholders familiar with our strategic vision can attest that Aiteo continues to invest in the right people to deliver on that vision. Mr. Burrows’ appointment is simply to further strengthen our financial discipline as one of the most innovative, reliable and diverse oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria today. Burrows joins a team of highly trained, experienced and world-class talent that currently guide the day to day activities of Aiteo,” said the company.

“For the record, OML 29 was indisputably, legitimately and transparently secured in an internationally conducted divestment by the private entity, Shell. The funding of this acquisition was made possible through a syndicated loan involving several Nigerian banks. Since then, we have continued to meet our financial obligations as and when due, like every other responsible, global conglomerate of our stature,” the company added.

The statement further stated that Aiteo is professionally run with strong corporate governance practices very actively in place and within a structure that insulates the company from the vagaries that typify the Nigerian one-man entity.
“Those who seek to distract us from this objective will find that we will defend our position and integrity with the same application and commitment as we continue to demonstrate the success we have achieved,” Aiteo said.
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