The management of British Virgin Island firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) will again have to defend the company in court in the United Kingdom as Nigeria files a new lawsuit against them based on new evidence. This comes days after a London high court received a bank guarantee of $200 million from the Federal Government of Nigeria to secure a stay of execution on asset seizures of up to $9 billion.
The new court case is a bid to overturn the tribunal order which directed Nigeria to pay $6.6 billion in damages in 2013. Nigeria’s refusal to pay has led to the fee’s increase to about $9 billion due to interests accrued daily since 2013.
What happened: P&ID‘s contract with the Federal Government started in 2010 when former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua authorised partnerships with private companies to fix the power problem in Nigeria. P&ID signed an agreement with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in January 2010. But the deal broke down, resulting into a lawsuit against Nigeria.
New development: According to a statement issued by Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, new evidence from investigations has proved that the 2010 contract was a sham that was never meant to succeed.
Malami said the lawsuit “is a major step forward in a bid to overturn the injustice of the US$9.6bn award” adding that “The filing challenges both the underlying arbitral award and its enforcement, and lodges a fresh appeal against the subsequent High Court judgment.
“Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations, it is clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal and designed to fail from the outset. The fraud was only recently discovered as a result of President (Muhamadu) Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts spearheaded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.” Punch quoted the statement in a report.
Nigeria argued that the contract “was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption, while the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the government
What Nigeria stands to lose: The situation is dire for Nigeria if it eventually loses the case altogether. The $9 billion is equivalent to almost 2.5% of the country’s annual gross domestic product. Also, if Nigeria can’t afford to pay the sum, the country will lose its assets in UK and the United States, depending on the assets P&ID choose to seize and sell.
Covid-19: 70% of doctors in Nigeria are infected – NARD
NARD has claimed that the majority of its members are infected with Covid-19.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has claimed that majority of its members are infected with Covid-19.
This is according to Dr Adejo Arome, NARD’s First Vice President while speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Sunday.
Arome said that almost 70% of its members in “clinical practice” are infected with Covid-19. He also lamented that “almost all the doctors in the UCH Pediatrics Department, Lafia in Nasarawa State, had been infected with COVID-19.”
Dr Arome noted that he had been personally exposed to COVID-19 but could not be tested due to lack of access to a testing facility.
He also complained that some hospitals do not only lack hand gloves, they give one face mask to each of their doctors to use for two days.
The association noted that lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its members and non-disclosure of true symptoms of sickness by people seeking treatment is contributing to this infection rate.
NARD is, thus, appealing to the government to come up with policies that would make it unlawful for patients to hide their medical conditions.
What they are saying
Arome, speaking on Channels TV, illustrated the challenges facing doctors in this pandemic era. He said:
“I must tell you that the morale among we doctors is very low at this point in time. It is so disheartening that the number of health workers being infected with Covid-19 is increasing daily – and it seems nothing is being done to reduce this number.
I heard that almost all the doctors in certain health facilities, including the UCH are infected. It is like that every day and I believe that every doctor in clinical practice should have been exposed to Covid-19.
Apart from PPE, people are not being truthful. They go to one hospital the doctor there tells them this is what I’m suspecting and when they are told what is wrong, they run away praying and thinking that they will get a different diagnosis elsewhere.
“I think it is high time the Federal Government stepped up and brought out policies that will make it unlawful for patients and their relatives to come to the hospital and lie to doctors because by so doing, they are currently exposing us and our families.
“In a pandemic, every patient coming into your consulting room is suspected to have COVID-19 until proven otherwise. But the truth is when we don’t have everything that we need to work with, you don’t expect the doctor that is treating the patients not to examine them.
“You will go to some hospitals and they will give a doctor one face mask for two days. You don’t even have gloves. You keep on writing prescriptions for patients to buy gloves and you as a doctor will feel bad because some people don’t even have food to eat, so why should you be writing them prescriptions to be buying gloves?
“Once one of us gets exposed, that person ends up exposing more than 4,000 patients because the doctor-patient ratio in this country is one to about 4,000 patients.”
What you should know
The weekly epidemiological report of COVID-19 situation by the NCDC shows that:
- Lagos has the highest number of covid-19 related deaths – 271 (18.9%).
- Edo State recorded 127( 8.9%) deaths out the 1,435 so far in the country.
- The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has 118 (8.2%)
According to Nairametrics Covid-19 tracker, as of Sunday 24th January 2021
- The total number of cases stood at 121,566.
- The total number of death stood at 1,497.
- The total number of tests conducted stood at 1,258,534.
DEAL: ClubHouse raises new Series B funding
The trending social audio app, Clubhouse has commenced another round of funding at a roughly $1 billion valuation.
The invitation-only audio-chat social networking app that’s still in private beta and lets you create rooms where you can talk for hours on end, has been exciting users since it became very popular in the last few months.
Eight months ago, the app, raised $12 million in a Series A round which valued the company at $100 million. Today, investors are trying to buy shares from the company’s existing shareholders at an implied value of $1 billion.
Launched in 2020, the app has grown from a small handful of beta testers into a diverse and growing network of over two million people ranging from—musicians, scientists, creators, athletes, comedians, parents, entrepreneurs, stock traders, non-profit leaders, authors, artists, real estate agents, sports fans and more. They come to Clubhouse to talk, learn, laugh, be entertained, meet, and connect.
According to the startups’ blog post “It’s always been important to us to have investors who care deeply about diversity, and who will work hard to help us make Clubhouse a welcoming and inclusive community. We now have over 180 investors in Clubhouse—large and small, spanning many different races, genders, and areas of expertise, and including many members of our early community”.
Why the funding matters
- This new funding will be used to release the android version of the app since it is only available to IOS users while also investing in technology and infrastructure to keep the servers up.
- The app will also introduce creator monetization to help creators on the platform who host conversations for others to get paid, in form of subscriptions, tipping, or ticket sales. Adding ways for users to pay other users provides an opportunity for Clubhouse to retain its users. There will also be a Creator Grant Program’ being set up by Clubhouse, which will be used to “support emerging Clubhouse creators”
- The startup also plans to invest in advanced tools to detect and prevent abuse, and also increase the features and training resources available to moderators.
- The platform will also see changes in its discovery feature to help people discover new rooms and clubs tailored to their interests.
Nigeria tops South Africa in FDI in 2020 – UN Report
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy attracted a total FDI of $2.6 billion in 2020 down from the $3.3 billion it attracted a year earlier.
Africa recorded a total FDI of $38 billion in 2020 representing a drop of 18% from $46 billion recorded in 2019, data from the United Nations Trade Association shows.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy attracted a total FDI of $2.6 billion in 2020 down from the $3.3 billion it attracted a year earlier. South Africa, a major competitor for FDI inflows in Sub Saharan Africa attracted less with $2.5 billion the report highlights.
Egypt recorded the highest influx of FDI among African countries with a total inflow of $5.5 billion representing a whopping 38% drop. Despite the drop, Egypt remains the top investment destination in Africa.
According to the UN report, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.”
Nigeria has failed to push the needle on FDI investments in the last decade attracting more portfolio inflows compared to direct investment which is viewed as more stable and required to boost economic growth.
FDI-related inflows are mostly targeted at the real sector funding investments in infrastructural development, technological innovation, manufacturing, health care, and Agriculture. According to the United Nations, lower oil prices and the pandemic induced locked down significantly affected Nigeria’s ability to attract inflows.
What UNCTAD is saying
- “FDI inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa decreased by 11 % to an estimated $28 billion. Inflows to Nigeria declined to $2.6 billion from $3.3 billion in 2019.”
- “Lower crude oil prices, coupled with the closure of oil development sites at the start of a pandemic due to movement restrictions, weighed heavily on FDI to Nigeria.”
- The report also indicates South Africa attracted about $2.5 billion during the year about 50% less than the $4.6 billion it attracted a year earlier.
- FDI to South Africa almost halved to $2.5 billion from $4.6 billion in 2019.
- Nigeria lost a massive Google investment after the internet giant preferred to set up in South Africa investing $140 million.
- “However, several large projects were announced including an investment by Google (United States) of approximately $140 million in a fibre optics submarine cable and an additional investment of $360 million by Pepsico (United States) to expand the capacity of Pioneer Foods.”
How the data compares with the National Bureau of Statistics
Nairametrics observed a stark difference between the data captured for Nigeria as FDI by the UN compared to what is recorded by the National Bureau of Statistics.
- Third-quarter NBS data released in November 2020 indicated Nigeria had attracted about $777.6 million which if annualized comes to about $1 billion.
- It suggests Nigeria may have attracted about $1.5 billion in the last quarter of the year which is highly unlikely.
- A further check by Nairametrics reveals the NBS tracks FDI inflows from data obtained from Commercial Banks accounting only for cash received other than commitments to invest in the country.
- A recent Nairametrics article also points to about $4.3 billion in Corporate Deals in the country out of which $1 billion is recognized as FDI-related investment according to our categorization methodology.
Africa compared to other Continents.
According to the report, global FDI flows fell by as much as 42% in 2020 from about $1.5 trillion to an estimated $859 billion.
- According to the report the drop was mostly recorded in developed economies where FDI fell by as much as 69% to $229 billion.
- However, developing economies where FDI is badly needed, recorded a 12% decline representing about 72% of a share of the global FDI.
- However, most of the inflows went to China with about $163 billion, the largest recipient in 2020.
- India’s FDI of $57 billion was higher than the entire $38 billion attracted by African countries.