It was clearly evident that a black swan ruling was coming. But as typical, Nigeria did not bother. In this part of the world, time is always frozen: “The U.S. arbitral court handed an initial award of $6.6 billion as damages in favour of P&ID. But, following Nigeria’s refusal to enter an appeal for over five years, the award attracted an additional $2.3 billion in accumulated interest at 7 per cent rate per annum”.
However, in most parts of the world, time continues to tick. Nigeria was at the risk of more than 33% of its national budget, and yet, nothing happened. But the ruling has happened, and now the government is in panic mode [this mess began 2010, so do not throw wailers to Buhari].
EFCC has gone nuclear to now examine the contract. And the finance minister is informing everyone that it would be “unpleasant for every Nigerian”in a briefing. In short. It was a high level conversation with three ministers – Ministers of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Finance, Mrs Ahmed; and Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed – in attendance.
The recent ruling by a UK court asking Nigeria to pay a hefty N3.2 trillion to a British company, or have its asset seized, will have profund implication for all Nigerians if executed, the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, said Tuesday.
The government said it was rejecting the $8.9 billion arbitral award because the foundation of the contract, in terms of conception and execution, was flawed.
The case is thus, in brief, from Premium Times.
A fortnight ago, the United Kingdom, Business & Property Courts (the Commercial Court), presided by Justice Butcher granted a British gas firm, Process & Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) request to enforce a March 20, 2013 award by a District Circuit Court in Washington DC against Nigeria.
The company had accused the Nigerian government of breaching a 2010 gas supply contract agreement for the construction of a gas processing plant.
In August 2012, the company said it served notice of arbitration after attempts to settle the matter out of court failed.
Nigeria’s argument now is that the contract is voidable because it was “fundamentally flawed”. And the Central Bank of Nigeria has challenged this foreign to show evidence that it invested $40 million in Nigeria: “If they (P&ID) have proof of their investment, we are calling on them to please come forward and provide us evidence of how they invested $40 million in this country”. Yes, you “invested” $40 million and you went to your country judge to get a judgment of $8.9 billion. Can a judge in Nigeria return fire?
But meanwhile while they sort this mess that began in 2010, your 10 kobo may be needed!