….As Investment tribunal wades in
Even as uncertainties still surround the rumoured take-over of Texaco Nigeria Plc, a major oil marketing company in Nigeria by MRS Holdings Limited; another top player in the oil sector; stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have given a positive nod to the development, saying that it is healthy for the industry and that it will encourage indigenous operators to prove themselves.
Reacting to the development in a chat with Shipping Position Weekly, a top manager with Rahamaniyya Oil and Gas; a key player in the down stream sector Mr Bala Danmanu, said that “the change will allow the indigenous oil and gas companies to prove that they can also do what the multinationals do”
The development comes just as Investments and Securities Tribunal fixed May 12, 2009 to hear the application for contempt proceedings brought against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Chevron Oil Nigeria Plc and others by a shareholder of Chevron Nigeria Holdings Limited (Texaco Nigeria Plc), Mrs. Cecilia Oloyede.
According to Mr Danmanu, the much expected take over of Texaco by MRS is commendable especially when it is obvious that most of the independent oil marketers in the country own more facilities than the major marketers. “Most of the depots and the trucks belong to independent marketers, they also own more jetties, so they are in good position to take over the business, it is just a matter of time”, he added.
He explained that the move by MRS to take over Texaco shows that indigenous oil and gas companies have come of age and that they stand shoulder to shoulder with the so called multinationals.
Speaking on the same issue, another operator, Mr Olanife Adeoye of Olao Oil Nigeria Limited told Shipping Position Weekly that more support is still needed in order to further assist the up coming oil and gas companies so as to bring them up to the level of the multinationals and also to make the market more competitive and efficient.
According to him, one way of achieving this is by encouraging banks to make more facilities available to indigenous operators.
But in her ruling on the case, the Chairman of the investment tribunal, Dr. Nnenna Orji, said since the tribunal had taken note of the filing of Form 48 (notice of consequences of disobedience to order of court) which indicated that the order of the tribunal made on March 18, 2009 had been breached, it was important to hear the contempt application first before every other issue.