A former Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom, Priti Patel, has warned investors to be wary about investing in Nigeria.
Patel, writing in a London newspaper, City A.M, alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration failed to honour an agreement involving a firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) and the Federal Government.
According to her, the firm had signed a 20-year contract with the government to create a new natural gas development refinery, but the project fell through after the Federal Government reneged on its contractual commitments.
She further alleged that the Nigerian Government promptly cancelled a compensation settlement, and has done “his level best to pretend Nigeria’s obligations to Process and Industrial Development do not exist.”
“Since 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.
“The most recent court decision at a London tribunal confirmed that the Nigerian government owes P&ID almost $9 billion for the initial breach of contract, loss of income, additional costs, and interest accrued after five years of non-payment.”
Reaction from the Presidency
Reacting to Patel’s allegations, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, described her as a wicked proposition lacking in substance and devoid of merit in empirical evidence established by facts.
He further added that before the coming of the Buhari administration, there existed in the country a racket encompassing elements in the three arms of government – the executive, legislature and the judiciary, “through the activities of which artificial, engineered and factored breaches of contract are made, judgments are obtained, appeals are delayed and the penalty imposed is paid and shared”.
Priti Patel served as the Secretary of State for International Development from 2016 until 2017 and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Witham in Essex since 2010.