Presidency condemns article discouraging foreign investors

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The Nigerian presidency has condemned an opinion article published by former secretary of state for International Development in the United Kingdom (UK), Priti Patel, calling on investors to be wary about investing in Nigeria.

Ms. Patel, a British parliamentarian, wrote in City A. M., a free daily Business newspaper in London warning investors to steer clear of Nigeria.

She advised that “Investors should know of the corrosive effect of corruption, as well as the lack of transparency and associated difficulties of doing business in certain countries.

“In Nigeria, the unhappy experience of the firm founded by two Irishmen, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), is a case in point, and demonstrates the risk that businesses will face in Nigeria.”

According to sources there was a report on how a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. affirmed a $6.59 billion arbitral award, plus $2.30 billion interest, against Nigeria.

This was after Nigeria failed to show up in court to defend the matter.

The naira value of the amount came to about N2.7 trillion (at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rate of N306 to one U.S Dollar).

According to report the country would have paid less than 10 per cent of the $8.9 billion award if the MuhammaduBuhari administration had acted in line with a recommendation passed to it by the preceding Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.

Ms. Patel said “in 2010, P&ID signed a 20-year contract with the Nigerian government to create a new natural gas development refinery, but the project fell through after the Nigerian government reneged on its contractual commitments.

“Upon taking office, President Buhari promptly cancelled a compensation settlement, and has done his level best to pretend Nigeria’s obligations to P&ID do not exist,” she said.

She also said since Mr.Buhari reneged on this deal, “P&ID has undertaken legal efforts to affirm a tribunal award, first decided in London. It also made several attempts in court to force the Nigerian government to respect its obligations.

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