Home Business FG may lose N7.58tn to contract disputes, damages

FG may lose N7.58tn to contract disputes, damages

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The Federal Government is currently facing several court cases over alleged breach of contract and a compilation of suits filed against the government by local and foreign entities in the past two years may see Nigeria losing about N7.58tn if the nation loses the cases.

Last week, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed that the Federal Government had agreed to pay a foreign investor $496m (N212b.3bn, using the official exchange rate of N428/dollar) to settle a long-standing $5.26bn (N2.25tn) contractual dispute.

The government said the mediation proceedings were under the Alternative Dispute Resolution framework of the International Chamber of Commerce led by Phillip Howell-Richardson.

According to the government, the settlement agreement came into effect on 19 August 2022.

However, the latest findings show that local and foreign entities have filed suits in local and foreign courts running to about N7.58tn in compensation claims.

The was learnt that in June 2021, Sunrise Power Transmission Company of Nigeria Limited filed a fresh $400m (N171.2bn using the current official rate of N428/dollar) lawsuit at the International Court of Arbitration, Paris, France, against the Federal Government.

This was in addition to the $2.354bn (N1.008tn using the current exchange rate of 428/dollar) it demanded from the Federal Government at an arbitration court, citing “breach of contract” concerning a 3,050MW plant in Mambilla, Taraba State.

Also, in December 2021, the Nigerian Ports Authority and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) were listed as second and third defendants in a suit filed against Shell Production Development by Stevedoring servicing company, Matreach Logistics Limited.

The firm said it was one of the Stevedoring service providers recommended by the Federal Ministry of Transport in 2012 for appointment to carry out dock labour operations within Bonga on/offshore terminal operated by SPDC.

It said the SDPC refused it access to the Bonga onshore/offshore terminal, a thing the firm claimed amounted to frustration and breach of contract.

In a suit with Ref No FCT/CV/408/19, filed by its lawyers, Onyeka Osigwe and Ekene Arubaleze from the law firm Goalcast Legal Services, the firm demanded N6.4tn royalty dues, operational cost and general and exemplary damages by SPDC.

In August 2021, 36 state governments dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court on the grounds that it diverted over N1.8tn in recovered loot and also N450bn worth of non-cash assets which were recovered from the proceeds of crime since 2015.

The plaintiffs said the sum which was supposed to be paid into the Federation Account, was illegally diverted into the Consolidated Revenue Accounts and others which the Nigerian constitution doesn’t recognise.

They said the CRA only belongs to the Federal Government and some states, adding that funds in the account were not distributable among the federating units.

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