Friday, August 16, 2019

British court orders Irish firm to seize $9b Nigeria’s foreign reserves

An Irish-owned firm was today granted court permission to seize up to $9bn (£7.4bn) in assets from the Nigerian government.

A British judge said that Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) can take 20 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign reserves. The move will likely raise concerns among foreign investors.

The saga dates back to a 2010 deal for the Nigerian government to supply gas to a processing plant built and run by P&ID.

However, in 2013 P&ID won a $6.6bn arbitration case. The figure was calculated based on what the company was estimated to have earned over the course of the 20-year agreement.

But P&ID now says interest accrued means it is owed $9bn.

Today’s decision means that the arbitration is converted into a legal judgement, allowing P&ID to attempt a seizure of the assets.

Andrew Stafford QC, P&ID’s lawyer, said: “We are pleased that the Court has rejected Nigeria’s objections both to the arbitration process and to the amount of the award, and that it will grant permission to P&ID to begin enforcement of the award in the United Kingdom.”

He added: “P&ID is committed to vigorously enforcing its rights, and we intend to begin the process of seizing Nigerian assets in order to satisfy this award as soon as possible.”