Contract Dispute: Court urges Arco, Agip to exploit alternative dispute resolution

27 October 2015, Port Harcourt – A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has advised Arco Group Plc and Nigeria Agip Oil Company to explore out-of-court settlement of the gas plant maintenance contract dispute brought before it.

Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC.

Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC.

The presiding judge, Justice Lambo Akanbi, gave the advice at the resumed hearing of the case on Monday.

He recalled that at the last adjourned date he had advised the parties to exploit settlement out of court and expressed surprise that they were still bent on going on with the trial.

His words; “I recall that at the last adjourned date, I advised the parties to go for settlement and then come back and withdraw the matter from the court. I expected that by now, that window would have been exploited.

“But I am surprised that the two parties are in court today on the same matter. I still advise that both the plaintiff and the defendants should go back and settle the matter.”

Arco had, in suit number FH/PH/CS/02/2015, dragged Agip, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Conoco Philips Petroleum Nigeria Limited and the Nigeria Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) before the court to determine whether in view of the provision of section 3 subsections (2) and (3) of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010, having demonstrated ownership of equipment, Nigerian personnel and capacity to execute the task of performing the contract for the maintenance service of rotating equipment at the Nigerian Agip Oil Company gas plants at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale, it is entitled, being a Nigerian company, to the exclusive right to be considered and granted such contract, including any extension of its duration.

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