Nigeria has agreed to pay $496 million to settle a multi-billion dollar lawsuit from Global Steel Holdings Ltd following the termination of a contract to modernize the country's steel mills.
Global Steel, which is affiliated with the Indian Mittal family, acquired the rights to the entire state-owned Nigerian steel industry between 2004 and 2007 through five major concessions and share purchase contracts. The deal also included access to Nigeria's iron ore reserves and the central rail network.
But in 2008, the government of the late Umaru Yar'Adua terminated the contracts. In the same year, Global Steel applied to the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris for arbitration.
From 2011 to 2020, Global Steel and the Nigerian government made several attempts to resolve the conflict, but to no avail.
Nigeria Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, who led the talks, said the government had succeeded in reducing the initial claims by 91% or $5.258 billion.
"I commend President Buhari for his commitment to tackling this issue and fighting for the crown jewel of our national industrialization plans rather than handing this task over to a future administration," he said.