Priti Patel (middle on her visit to Nigeria last year
Priti Patel, former secretary of state for International Development in the United Kingdom (UK), has called on investors to be wary about investing in Nigeria.
In a short op-ed for City A.M., London’s first free daily business newspaper, Patel, a member of the UK parliament, said President Muhammadu Buhari has disrespect for “international law and convention, and court decisions”.
Patel, who visited Nigeria in 2017, alongside Boris Johnson, former UK foreign secretary, shared the experience of two Irish businessmen, who suffered from Buhari’s decision to renege on signed contracts.
HER OP-ED IS REPRODUCED BELOW:
When the Nigerian finance minister visited London last week, she and her officials came to advertise Nigeria as a country that is open for business.
The minister, Zainab Ahmed, came to promote Nigeria’s $2.8bn Eurobond sale, which follows on from the Nigerian government’s oversubscribed $1bn Eurobonds sale in February 2017.
I am a supporter of economic investment into developing countries – open markets and capitalism have paved the way for poverty reduction around the world.
Many nations in Africa, including Nigeria, have benefited from investment over the years, and Nigeria’s Eurobonds could bring relief to its ongoing economic woes.
Over the last decade, the amount of UK foreign direct investment into Africa has more than doubled from £20.8bn to £42.5bn. This is good news.
However, as with all investments, investors should know of the corrosive effect of corruption, as well as the lack of transparency and associated difficulties of doing business in certain countries.
In Nigeria, the unhappy experience of the firm founded by two Irishmen, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), is a case in point, and demonstrates the risk that businesses will face in Nigeria.
In 2010, P&ID signed a 20-year contract with the Nigerian government to create a new natural gas development refinery, but the project fell through after the Nigerian government reneged on its contractual commitments. Upon taking office, President Buhari promptly cancelled a compensation settlement, and has done his level best to pretend Nigeria’s obligations to P&ID do not exist.
Since Buhari reneged on this deal, P&ID has undertaken legal efforts to affirm a tribunal award, first decided in London. It also made several attempts in court to force the Nigerian government to respect its obligations.
The most recent court decision at a London tribunal confirmed that the Nigerian government owes P&ID almost $9bn for the initial breach of contract, loss of income, additional costs, and interest accrued after five years of non-payment.
However, the Nigerian government has continued to flout international law and convention, and it refuses to respect the various court decisions.
Investors must consider this long-running scandal and weigh this obstinance against Nigeria’s mishandled economic potential.
Let us not forget that Nigeria is the only member of OPEC that is dependent upon petrol imports to keep the country going. Nigeria is ranked 145th in the world for its ease of doing business, which demonstrates the risks of investment into Nigeria.
Despite the President’s public anti-corruption platform, Transparency International has not seen any reduction in corruption since Buhari took office. In fact, the precise opposite has happened, with Nigeria falling 12 places between the 2016 and 2017 rankings.
President Buhari currently faces serious allegations, which include staging show trials of opponents of a regime that is accused of corruption and graft, while simultaneously shielding his own party members and inner circle.
We should all welcome international efforts to attract international investment into developing economies. However, to do this successfully Nigeria must seriously tackle corruption, rather than use it as a smokescreen. It must honour its obligations to companies like P&ID. Until then, investors inevitably will be very wary of investing in Nigeria.
Stay updated with the latest Nigerian news from Information Nigeria
Lekki Shooting: ‘I took a lot of gunshot victims to the hospital’ – Ideh Chukwuma
Ideh Chukwuma has shared his experience at the Lekki tollgate protest ground. The Nigerian filmmaker revealed that he took, at least, 13 endSARS protesters cum victims to the hospital.
Chukwuma made this known in an exclusive interview with Premium Times, an online newspaper based in Abuja. He, however, noted that he never saw any dead body at the massacre scene.
What I will say is, I have been hearing people say “Lekki massacre, Lekki massacre.” I have to be honest with you if you Google the term “massacre,” massacre is a situation where a group of people were being killed by rebels or the military and going by that particular point, I would have been able to tell you that I saw a lot of dead bodies, this is how they killed them, there were a lot of dead bodies and so it was a massacre.
“But from the time I came, I didn’t see any dead bodies but I can certainly tell you that there was a shooting, an unauthorised shooting. I will call it a raid, I will call it assault. I am going to term it assault and raid. That is what I would use. It was an assault and I and I may be wrong but because I didn’t see those bodies, and I have not seen a family member that has come to cry and say one two or three persons have died.
If DJ Switch had seen that, she’s in the best position to say that because she was there. I cannot say she’s wrong. I was out of that circle. I was a few meters away. They were at the toll gate and I was a few meters away from them. I wasn’t there, I was at Lekki Phase 1. I can’t tell you what the military’s approach on their arrival was. So, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that they shot one, two, three, four, or five people. But I can certainly tell you that I took a lot of gunshot victims to the hospital.
If I took about 13 people to the hospital myself, minus the ones that the governor confirmed that were injured, he said about thirty, that is forty-something, DJ Switch might not be wrong. I took 13 to the hospital. So, if DJ Switch said she saw 15 dead people, by her own records, because she was there so she can speak on that part. I can’t speak on that and none of the thirteen people that I took to the hospital has died. They are still alive and some of them have been discharged.
He also recounted how the soldiers tried stopping him from helping victims of the shooting. One Soul added;
For the record, I was not at the protest ground with the crowd protesting when the military came around so I cannot tell you what guns they were shooting. But I knew I heard gunshots and people were running. So, what could have happened when I was not there, while I was in my car, I don’t know. It was when I came back I realised everyone was running helter-skelter and I saw people falling down. I saw blood, people being shot and it was all looking bad so I decided to keep going (driving) and I could see clearly this time that the army had surrounded the protesters.
“They were gathered together into a circle and the army surrounded them with their guns and they were still singing the national pledge while they were surrounded. They saw my car coming and I was waving the flag and one of the military guys was shouting “ Go back, go back” and I wouldn’t go back and I was like I want to check up on my friends and they shouted that I should “ Go back now!” and then I saw a lady that was shot on the leg and another guy who was shot in the hand.
Yes, and they saw me carry wounded people in my car. I saw another guy who was shot in the hand but the bullet did not go into his arm but bruised him so I carried the three of them and drove to Ajah. They rejected them. I got to the government hospital and they said it was only for mother and child. Then Doren Hospital, Ajah, accepted them and I was happy. I told the Director that I was coming back and I then I drove back to tollgate and they were still shooting and I came down from the car raising my hand up and the guy kept shooting and I told them I wanted to help people that were wounded and he said No I should go back and I said, ‘‘Sir, I cannot go back I have to check the wounded people, and he refused then I took off my clothes and I said “ Sir, you have to shoot me” then he cocked a gun and aimed it at me and I was like I will not leave if you don’t allow me to rescue these people. While he aimed his gun at me, his colleague brushed me and hissed then I walked in there and rescued four other people and rushed them to the hospital.
When I was coming back the third time, I came with an ambulance to rescue more people. While I was there, one of the guys told me that the military was keeping the wounded or dead people in their trucks. So what I was told was that the military took some people and that they thought they were taking them to the military hospital. I don’t know if it is possible that it is true or I don’t know. When I came back again, I told the man (soldier) that I wanted to carry more people in the ambulance and I helped more people in the ambulance and they were taken to the hospital.
— Akpraise (@AkpraiseMedia) October 24, 2020
Hoodlums reportedly attack Actor Clem Ohameze in Uyo
Clem Ohameze, popular Nollywood actor was on Thursday reportedly attacked by hoodlums in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital.
This was made known by a Twitter user who revealed that the actor was robbed of his personal belongings during the attack.
Veteran Nollywood actor Clem Ohameze was attacked in Uyo on Thursday by hoodlums. They injured him, took his money and phones. Quick recovery sir.
Hoodlums storm Senator’s residence in Ibadan; cart away 300 motorcycles (Video)
Hoodlums have paid a visit to Nigerian senator Teslim Folarin at his Oluyole residence in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
It was gathered that the hoodlums made away with 300 new motorcycles, deep freezers, and other household items.
Senator Folarin is not the only politician who has suffered attack in recent times.
Information Nigeria recalls hoodlums, on Saturday, raided houses of senators in Enugu and Calabar.
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