OrderPaperToday – The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), a civil society group, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the sales of oil wells worth $22.5b.

HEDA, in a letter directed to President Buhari and signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, called for suspension of the sales of oil wells listed as OML 24, OML 98, OML 122, OML 110, OML 88, OML 62, OML 11, OPL 292 and OPL 258.

According to HEDA, the process of the sales needs to be suspended for transparency on the prospective buyers and intended beneficiaries.

“We want to know why these oil wells are being put up for sale. Who are the prospective buyers? Where will the proceeds of the oil wells go? How will Nigerians benefit from the sale of the oil wells?,” the letter queried.

Suraju noted that the intervention is to prevent the reoccurance of using oil wells for political patronage, saying “this should stop. The resources belong to Nigerians and they should not be sold without prior and informed consent of the people.”

The anti-corruption group also called for more robust consultation on the planned sales.

The letter read: “Nigerians have the right to determine what the Federal Government is doing with the oil wells. The decision to sell the oil wells can only be taken after due consultation with relevant stakeholders and active participation of the civil society organisations, media and labour to understand and verify the beneficial owners of the bidding companies.”

“Selling national assets is not a decision to be taken by a few people. Selling of these oil wells will have long term implications for the future of Nigeria beyond the tenure of those who wish to sell the oil wells. This is the reason why the Federal Government should not sell the oil wells without constructive engagement of the people but rather the employment of a Consultant as middlemen for the sale of these oil block. The process must be transparent and Nigerians must know who the buyers of the oil wells are and on what conditions.”

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