A British court has ordered an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) to seize 20 per cent in assets, of Nigeria’s foreign reserves, amounting to $9bn (£7.4bn).
Justice Butcher of the British Commercial Court gave the ruling on Friday. The ruling will likely raise concerns among foreign investors. The Nigerian government, had struck a deal with the Irish firm to supply gas to a processing plant built and run by P&ID in Calabar. The agreement was for a 20-year deal. But the Nigerian government failed to keep to her own side of the agreement, prompting the firm to take the case to court. Meanwhile, in 2013, P&ID won a $6.6bn arbitration case against Nigeria.
The figure was calculated based on what the company was estimated to have earned over the course of the 20-year agreement. But in today’s ruling, the firm said the amount had risen to $9bn following interest accrued so far, reports City A.M. 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.”