Finance

Envoy assures investors of government’s commitment to contractual agreement

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The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, at the weekend said the current administration remained committed to due process in its contractual agreements with investors.

Speaking at the 2019 USAfrica Business Expo in New York at the weekend, Okoyen assured existing and potential investors in Nigeria that the days of underhand dealings were over.

He said investors, on their part, should  also realise that it was no longer business as usual, and be ready to engage  in doing business without any agenda.

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According to him, the government is also making deliberate efforts to encourage businesses and protect them, in addition to enhancing its dispute resolution mechanisms.

The envoy was responding to a question by a participant, who accused the government of “consistently failing to uphold its contractual obligations’’.

The question was based on the controversial arbitration award of $ 9.6 billion (N5.5 trillion) against the government in favour of a small gas firm, Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Ltd.

A British court delivered the ruling on Aug. 16, citing the government’s violation of a gas supply and processing contract with P&ID.

The deal was sealed during the government administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010.

Reacting to the ruling, the government described it as the “consequences of the underhand dealings of the past administrations”.

Mr Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, had told a news conference then that the contract was fraudulent, and designed to fail.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) later launched an investigation into the controversial contract.

On Thursday, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered P&ID and its local affiliate, P&ID Nigeria Limited, to forfeit their local assets to the government.

The order came after two representatives of the companies pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion in a case instituted by the EFCC.(NAN)

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