A general view of the Okomu Oil company, Okomu community in Edo State, Midwestern Nigeria, on September 14, 2021.

A general view of the Okomu Oil company, Okomu community in Edo State, midwestern Nigeria, on September 14, 2021.

Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images.

Nigeria Triumphs in Appeal Against $11B Damages in P&ID Gas Deal

A U.K. judge has ruled in favor of Nigeria over an $11 billion dollar dispute stemming from the country terminating a natural gas contract with Process & Industrial Developments company.

Nigeria has successfully overturned an $11 billion damages claim related to a controversial gas deal with Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID). The Nigerian government had alleged that the collapsed gas processing project was tainted by bribery and fraud, leading to the dispute.

The ruling, delivered by a U.K. tribunal, has its roots in a 2017 decision that initially required Nigeria to pay $6.6 billion to P&ID following the termination of a contract between the group and Nigeria's petroleum ministry. Over the years, the award had grown to $11 billion due to accrued interest.

The crux of the matter lies in a 2010 agreement between Nigeria and P&ID to operate a plant designed for converting natural gas into electricity. Nigeria, however, failed to construct the necessary pipeline to supply the gas, prompting P&ID to initiate arbitration proceedings in 2012, claiming a breach of contract.

The U.K. court's decision, in favor of Nigeria, underscores the fraudulent nature of the ill-fated gas processing contract. Following this legal triumph, Hamzat Lawal, CEO of Connected Development, commended President Bola Tinubu's leadership and commitment to defending Nigeria's interests.

Nigeria's effort to nullify the arbitral award initially set at $9.6 billion in 2017 but later escalating to $11 billion due to the alleged breach of the gas supply agreement, has finally borne fruit.

In response to the court's verdict, President Tinubu emphasized that this outcome signifies a turning point, demonstrating that nation-states will no longer be held captive by economic schemes involving private entities and individual corruption.

As a result of the judgment, the Federal Government has prevailed in its case against Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited, which sought the enforcement of an $11 billion debt in its favor. The U.K. judge has now ordered P&ID to make an interim payment of over £1.5 million (approximately $1.9 million) to Nigeria within 21 days.

This outcome marks a significant milestone in Nigeria's legal battle and a notable victory for the nation against a contentious gas deal.