The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, in Abuja Thursday promised an amicable resolution of the ongoing dispute between Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHI), and the management of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics, (LADOL).
Speaking during a courtesy call by the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, In-tae Lee, he said all parties in the dispute are already being engaged by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and he believes the engagement process will restore normalcy.
"We will work with you, Samsung, Ladol, NEPZA and all the parties involved to resolve this amicably. We have an excellent relationship with South Korea and we will like to continue that," the minister said, pointing out that, "successful resolution of problems generates goodwill."
Earlier, Mr Lee had sought the intervention of the minister in the dispute.
"Korean companies that are eager to invest in Nigeria are watching the dispute closely and it is in the best interest of both countries to get this behind us."
LADOL, operators of the Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading recently sacked SHI from the free zone over expiry of its operating licence. The managing director of LADOL, Amy Jadesinmi, had said: "Samsung failed to meet the minimum standard required to qualify for an Operating License in a Free Zone, their license has therefore expired without renewal. Samsung's Sublease Agreement has been duly terminated".
But Samsung said it is in talks to resolve the court action launched by LADOL.
Responding to Samsung's statement, LADOL said it also hoped for an amicable resolution to the dispute.
Samsung Heavy Industries, one of the world's largest shipbuilders, says that through its joint venture with LADOL, it has invested $300 million to help build a floating oil platform for Total's Egina oil field. Total describes the field as one of its most ambitious ultra-deep offshore projects and it is expected to produce an estimated 200,000 barrels of oil per day, representing about 10 per cent of Nigeria's total capacity.
During the meeting, the ambassador also sought the minister's contribution to the ongoing review of the 1998 Bilateral Investment Treaty signed by both countries.
Mr Enelamah assured him they are on the same page on the need to revise the agreement to meet contemporary needs.
"It is time to revise the agreement," he said.