Tordue Salem – Abuja
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said on Thursday the Federal Government would not pay the $9.6billion judgment fine to Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID).
A British Court judgment had slammed the fine on the federal government in favour of the Virgin Islands-registered company, earlier this year.
A contract required the Nigerian government to pay $300 million for P&ID to set up a platform to turn a dirty form of natural gas burnt off during oil production into electricity for use by local governments.
The deal was reportedly sealed in 2012 amid mutual recriminations and claims of fraud, while the $9.6 billion was built up through accrued interest payments.
While defending the budget of the Ministry before a joint committee of the National Assembly on Petroleum Resources that sat at the House of Representatives wing on Thursday, Sylva said in response to a question on the case, that “The P&ID is fraudulent and Nigeria would not pay” the fine.
He also told the Joint Committee headed by Sen. Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom-PDP), that the Ministry was determined to fix all the refineries in the country, before 2023.
“All Refineries will be functional by the end of this dispensation,” he assured the panel.
The minister also disclosed that Bauchi State “would definitely be an oil-producing state in a few years, because the reserves there, are in commercial quantities,” but said, “I don’t know yet if Anambra is a prospective oil or gas basin, but I would find out.”
The ministry had a few days ago, announced the discovery of oil in the Northeast.
Sylva also assured that “more jobs would come on stream, during this dispensation. I can assure you that a lot would begin to happen, during this dispensation.”