The Nigerian government is preparing an appeal against a U.K. court ruling that may force the country to pay about $9 billion to Process & Industrial Developments Ltd. (P&ID) over a gas processing dispute, Governor Godwin Emefiele of the Central Bank of Nigeria told journalists on Monday.
Process & Industrial Developments Ltd. natural gas company, backed by a Cayman Island-based hedge fund, on Friday won a London court ruling that is seen likely to force the Nigerian government to pay it about $9 billion in claims.
The company was awarded $6.6 billion in an arbitration case in January 2017, following a dispute over a 2010 gas deal. With the Nigerian government failing to make payment, the claim grew interests to reach $9 billion over a two year period.
Since the news broke that Nigeria could potentially cough out $9 billion in what is seen as the largest financial liability in the West African country’s history, the Nigeria has asked lawyers to initiate an appeal proceeding against the U.K court ruling, according to Dayo Apata, the nation’s Solicitor-General.
The CBN governor also confirmed that Nigeria will seek an appeal against the U.K ruling, saying: “Since the news about the judgement broke out late on Friday, we have been discussing with our counsels, and they have advised that there are sufficient and strong grounds on the basis of which we could file a stay of execution and also an appeal against that judgement.
“There are certain anomalies in the process leading to the award of that contract which is currently being looked into by the EFCC and I believe that the EFCC themselves have their own investigation reports about that. So, we will follow through and aggressively too on ensuring that the execution of that judgement is stayed and that the appeal succeeds at every level both within Nigeria and abroad.
“It is important for me to use this opportunity to assure our friends, local and foreign investors who called to expressed solidarity with us, not to express concern but to say that there is no need for anybody to worry. We know that the implication of that judgement has some impact on monetary policy and that is why the CBN is going to step forward and very strongly too to ensure that we defend the country and defend the reserves of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”