Court grants Nigeria more time to appeal $10 billion gas project penalty

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 30, 2019: A gavel at an auction of 34 old light box signs recently removed from Moscow Underground (Moscow Metro) stations; the auction took place at Vystavochnaya Station. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS (Photo by Vladimir GerdoTASS via Getty Images)
A gavel. Nigeria has been granted more time to appeal against a penalty in relation to a botched gas project. (Photo by Vladimir GerdoTASS via Getty Images)

Nigeria won a temporary reprieve after a court in London granted it more time to appeal against a multi-billion dollar penalty in a case lodged by a UK-based company, Process Industrial and Developments (P&ID).

The court ruled that Nigeria can now lodge its appeal but it did not set any definite time frame.

P&ID sued Nigeria in 2012 after a deal to develop a gas-processing plant, which it was awarded, collapsed.

P&ID, which was set up solely for the project, argued it spent $40 million on design and feasibility but never built the plant as the government did not honour its obligation to supply the gas it was meant to process.

Three years ago, P&ID was awarded $6.6 billion, plus interest, based on what it could have earned over the course of 20 years.

The daily interest of $1.2 million was backdated from 2013 meaning the award now stands at nearly $10 billion.

Last September, Nigeria was given permission by a British judge to seek to have that ruling dismissed. It, however, missed the original appeal deadline.

The West African nation’s Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, told the BBC that the country will continue its pursuit of the case until the ruling against it is dismissed.

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