P&ID Ltd, the Irish firm that was awarded $9.6 billion in arbitration against Nigeria, says it will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets “to satisfy the debt”.
The company said if the Nigerian government is serious about negotiating a settlement, it must do so in “good faith” and stop the campaign of “baseless slander and sham investigations” against its founders.
P&ID had gone on arbitration against Nigeria in 2012 following the failure of gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) contract it signed with the ministry of petroleum resources in January 2010.
In May 2015, Nigeria agreed to pay $850 million in settlement to avoid a liability award but did not follow through.
In July 2015, the country was found liable by the arbitration tribunal for the failure of the project.
In January 2017, P&ID got an award of $6.6 billion for “loss of income” over the 20-year lifespan of the project and $2.3 billion in interests.
Nigeria’s efforts to stop the enforcement have failed so far, with a British court recently dismissing Nigeria’s objections, but the federal government has vowed to go on appeal, describing the project as a fraud and launching a probe of those said to be involved in the “scam”.
Demonstrators stormed the UK high commission in Abuja on Monday demanding a reversal of the judgment.
In the short e-mail statement on Monday, a spokesman for P&ID said: “If the Nigerian government is serious about a willingness to negotiate then it must do so in good faith. The means that the Buhari Administration must acknowledge the reality of the rulings of the independent Tribunal and the English Commercial court, desist from its campaign of baseless slander and sham investigations against P&ID and its founders and instead appoint an authorized party to enter into real negotiations.
“The coming days will tell if the Nigerian government is serious, or if this is simply another delay tactic. In the meantime, P&ID will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets to satisfy the debt.”
Nigeria’s foreign reserves, most of which are domiciled with US and UK banks, as well as oil tankers from the country are at the risk of being seized by P&ID.
Buildings and other physical assets belonging to Nigeria abroad are also at risk.