Nigeria saved from more FX crisis, wins $11.5bn P&ID case

THE Nigerian government was saved from further foreign exchange problems through judgment debt, as it won the legal case against Process & Industrial Developments(P&ID), Limited in a London Court.

The judgment was delivered on Monday, October 23,2023, after five years of legal fireworks which have finally been to the advantage of Nigeria, as the court quashed the $11 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID.

The presiding judge for the Business and Property Court in London – Robin Knowles, which sat remotely and behind closed doors, ruled that the award were obtained by fraud and what has happened in the case is contrary to public policy.

Recall, Nigeria had been embroiled in a fight with Process & Industrial Developments over a failed 2010 deal to develop a gas processing plant over which it was inflicted a $9bn judgment which has now risen to $11bn.

P&ID claimed Nigeria violated terms of its agreement by failing to provide gas for the power plant it wanted to build for the country.

This frustrated the construction of the gas project agreed to during the government of former President Umaru Yar’Adua and deprived P&ID the potential benefits expected from 20 years’ worth of gas supplies with “anticipated profits of $5 to $6 billion.”

Former President Goodluck Jonathan government reached an out-of-tribunal agreement for the payment of $850 million and passed on disbursement to the administration of President Buhari.






     

     

    Buhari frustrated the idea of paying the negotiated sum, set aside the settlement agreement and challenged the enforcement of the award before the English Commercial Court. But the London court added $2.4 billion in interest making it $9 billion.

    Analysts say Nigerian would have found it difficult to pay for the judgment debt, if the judgement had gone in favour of P&ID.

    Some industry analysts believe the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited-NNPCL would have had its off shore assets seized if the judgement had gone in favour of P & ID.

    “We must be careful next time not to lose our assets because of clarity and ambiguity in the deals we enter into. We could have paid dearly for this, depleting our reserves and creating more debt problems for Nigeria,” a development economist, Celestine Okeke said.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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