14 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Uyo- The Akwa Ibom State Government has given Amakpe International Refineries (Nigeria) Limited, Eket, a 21-day ultimatum to refund $2.251 million or face legal action for failing to carry out its part of the Memorandum of Understanding, which it signed with the state government on the project.
Disclosing this at a press briefing in Uyo, the deputy governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, said Amakpe as a promoter lacked capacity and necessary funding to embark on the project of such magnitude.
He stated that the government became aware that the promoters had contacted and actually gone around raising loans both internationally and locally for the Amakpe project without the knowledge, input and the consent of the government.
He added that after Amakpe had received $6.251m of the state government’s money, by the terms of the MoU, the state government was then supposed to have 25 per cent stakeholding in the project.
He said, “It therefore means, according to international standards and best practice in business that whatever decision was to be taken concerning the project and the company, all the shareholders or stakeholders in the project should necessarily make inputs and consent to it, unfortunately, the promoters still refused despite the MoU and their undertaking to turn a new leaf
“It should be clear to the promoters of Amakpe that our commitment to the course of Akwa Ibom state and a commitment to the public good will cause us to seek a return of every taxpayer money invested in this project either by this administration or its predecessor.
“We are therefore giving the promoters of Amakpe refinery project a 21-day period of grace for them to immediately refund all such money to the government of Akwa Ibom State, otherwise government will take steps to report them to appropriate anti-corruption authorities both in Nigeria and in America.”