$9.6bn judgement debt: Analyst wants FG to negotiate with P&ID

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

By Folasade Akpan

Mr Atiku Samuel, a policy analyst says the Federal Government should negotiate with Process and Industrial Development Ltd. (P&ID) before taking any other legal action.

He said this on Sunday in Abuja while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Samuel said that getting a workable negotiation was the only practicable thing to do to get the nation out of losing such huge amount.

“If Nigeria decides to even appeal the judgement, on what basis will the appeal be grounded,” he asked.

NAN reports that a UK court had in a ruling authorised P&ID, an Irish engineering and project management company to seize 9.6 billion dollars in Nigerian assets over a failed oil and gas contract.

The judgment was a fallout of the contract purportedly entered into in 2010 between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID, and subsequent award made in July 2015 by an arbitration panel sitting in London in favour of the company.

Samuel said the nation was in such quagmire because of the failure of the justice system.

According to him, the justice system in Nigeria is not trusted, so most people prefer to get into contract with the government of Nigeria under foreign law.

He, however, said that the ability of the nation to make and enforce contracts and resolve disputes was fundamental if markets and the economy were to function properly.

The policy analyst said  that good enforcement procedures enhance predictability in commercial relationships and reduce uncertainty.

This, he said, would assure investors, especially intending Foreign Direct Investors, that their contractual rights would be upheld promptly by local courts.

NAN also reports that the Federal Government has alleged that the awarded 9.6 billion dollars judgment debt against Nigeria was a calculated attempt by international and local scammers to deplete the country’s rising foreign reserves. (NAN)

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