Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it recorded a savings of $1.6 billion from the arbitration between its flagship upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), and the Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Nigeria Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd.
An Arbitral Tribunal sitting at the Lagos Court of Arbitration had awarded the Federal Government $1.69 billion in a dispute between the NPDC Limited and the two companies. The arbitral proceedings in Nigeria were instituted by the claimants, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited) on August 15, 2016, against the NPDC.
In resolving the dispute in favour of NPDC, the Arbitral Tribunal dismissed Atlantic Energy’s claims and awarded the sum of US$1,690,900,391.39, US$200,000 and N1,500,000 as costs in favour of NPDC, and directed that the amount be paid within 21 days from the date of the Award for crude oil lifted from OMLs 26, 30, 34 and 42 (Forcados Assets) and OMLs 60, 61, 62 and 63 (Brass Assets).
According to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, the Corporation succeeded in making a lot of savings from some companies that had litigation with her. He said that NNPC paid only $37.5 million out of the $400 million initially demanded by the International Petroleum Corporation (IPCO) in litigation, amounting to 91.5% savings.
He said most of the cases were brought to the fore through fraud and forensic investigation which helped the Corporation to get value for money. Baru averred that the most important thing for any economy and any business was to make sure that fraud did not occur, stressing that the prevention aspect was key to achieving the desired result of a corruption-free Nigeria.
The NNPC GMD noted with nostalgia that as the second chairman of the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee in 2004, he ensured that all staff of the Corporation and its various stakeholders were educated about NNPC’s corporate policies and the various anti-corruption acts in the country in order to avoid fraudulent transactions.
He applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the support extended to the NNPC to ensure sanity in the system, stressing that the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government had added a lot of value to the nation’s hydrocarbon operations.