$9.6bn P&ID debt: Senate summons AGF, petroleum ministery, others

The Senate has summoned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to explain its role in the scandalous contract that incurred the nation  $9.6bn judgement debt by a Court in the United Kingdom.

The summon by the Senate was sequel to a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, an APC representing Ekiti Central in the red chamber.

“My motion is on the need to invite the Honorable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Federation and other relevant stakeholders to brief relevant committees of the Senate on the award of $9.6billion against the Federal Government of Nigeria, by a United Kingdom Court in the matter of P&ID – Process & Industrial Development Limited versus Federal Government of Nigeria.”

They are to also appear before the Senate committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream), Gas Resources and Power

Opeyemi had in the motion urged the Senate to demand “details of the 2010  contract with P&ID  as executed; reasons for the default as well as the handling of resultant negotiations, arbitration, court proceedings and steps being taken to resolve the matter in the overall best interest of the Nigerian economy and security of the nation’s assets at home and abroad”

He said the Senate was concerned that Nigerian all over the world have flooded relevant senate committees with petitions on the debt judgement that places the nation’s assets at risks, thus the need for the upper parliament to have detail grasp of the issues.

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“The Senate notes with concern that Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora have become apprehensive while several committees of the Senate have over the last few weeks received several petitions and other direct and circumstantial information on the ongoing legal imbroglio involving the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and by extension the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Kingdom firm known as Process and Industrial Development Limited, hereinafter referred to as P&ID.

“Aware that a commercial court in the United Kingdom in the suit referred to has ruled that the Federal Government must pay the British firm – Process and Industrial Development Limited a sum of $9.6billion or have its assets to the tune of that amount forfeited.

“The Senate is further aware that in January 2010 the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Acting on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria executed a Gas supply processing agreement with P&ID whereby Nigeria was to supply zero cost natural gas to P&ID through a pipeline to be constructed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to P&ID Processing facility.”

Opeyemi said the Senate was indeed disturbed by the matter which judgement is described as an excessively punitive measure with a consequent threat to our economy.

His word: “Alarmed that the UK Court decision converted the subsequent arbitrary award into a domestic judgement against the Federal Republic of Nigeria creating a situation where Nigeria’s asset around the world, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States of America risk being taken over by P&ID orbits agents.

“The Senate is pained that the damages awarded to P&ID are manifestly excessive, exorbitant, punitive and a big threat to the economic well-being and security of Nigeria.

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