By Udeme Akpan
At last, Sea Trucks Group Limited, STG, a British Virgin Island company and West African Ventures Limited, WAV, a 100 per cent Nigerian company have resolved their dispute amicably in Lagos.
The settlement was facilitated by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS.
Vanguard gathered that following a period of extended negotiations, both WAV and STG were able to reach a binding settlement agreement on the 13th of November 2018.
It was gathered that the settlement agreement resolved all disputes between the parties and provided for an agreed allocation of vessels, which were previously disputed by both parties.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote who chaired the signing ceremony on February 12, 2019 in Lagos commended the amicable resolution, explaining that it is a win-win for the two companies and the oil and gas industry.
He said: “In every business endeavour, there are disagreements and individual interests but the most important thing is having the mindset to settle through dialogue rather than getting through legal tussle that will last for a very long time that will create a lose-lose for everybody.
“If businesses see people with integrity and reputations they want to bring in to enable them settle any of their rifts, they should bring those people in and be able to sit round the table and iron out their individual differences rather than resorting to legal battles that will last forever. My advice to businesses that are in conflict is to create the opportunity to dialogue because for every problem, there is solution.
“The significance of the peace agreement and decision to work together amicably going forward is to correct the impression outside the country where people believe that coming to invest in Nigeria as an international business will only leave you to lose your investment and assets. This shows we can amicably resolve our issues. Any foreign investor who wants to come here has a mechanism for dispute resolution, which this agreement has shown that it could work.”
“STG is an international company while WAV is a local company. They had issues but they got the services of NCDMB and NAPIMS and other mediators to be able to resolve them.
There exists in the country mechanism to resolve issues like this between international and local company. The message out there is that you come and invest here you, probably lose your investment because you will not be protected but be assured that regulatory agencies such as NCDMB will protect investments that come into this country.”
The Managing Director of WAV, Mr. Michael Dumbi Amaeshike said: “The agreement brought great relief because West African Ventures Limited is vital to the oil and gas industry. It has always provided marine services to the industry and it is the number one marine service company. In the past two and halve years, it has been difficult to provide those services and the industry has been impacted by this dispute. Therefore, to be here today and to signal an end to that dispute is very significant to me and the oil and gas industry.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Telford Offshore, the representative of STG, Mr Frase Moore said the amicable resolution of the dispute was significant to the industry and promised that the two firms will promote local content and capacity development.
He said: “With the achievement of this settlement, WAV remains poised to continue as the leading indigenous provider of offshore engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and vessel charter services in Nigeria.
“WAV, 100 percent-owned Nigerian Company has significant investment in Nigeria including its corporate headquarters in Lagos, Marine Support Base and Shipyard at Warri, as well as its dry dock and fabrication facilities in Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne, Rivers State. With the continuous support of the NCDMB and NAPIMS, WAV is equipped to continue to deliver first class marine project and charter services to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”