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SFO investigation delivers over £200,000 compensation for the people of Nigeria

21 February, 2022 | News Releases

Over £200,000 in compensation obtained by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, will be given to the people of Nigeria after a UK-Nigeria Memorandum of Understanding was signed today.

Vicky Ford signs MOU in Abuja

Africa Minister Vicky Ford meets with Benjamin Okolo of the Nigerian Ministry of Justice to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.

In total, £210,610 will be transferred by the UK Government, with the funds supporting three key infrastructure projects, ensuring that the people of Nigeria benefit directly.

In July 2021, the SFO reached a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, with the company accepting responsibility for ten offences of corruption relating to the use of corrupt agents in the oil and gas sector. The offences spanned from 1996 to 2014 and took place in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Nigeria. 

As well as financial penalties and costs paid to authorities in the UK, US and Brazil, Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited was ordered to pay compensation to Nigeria. The sum was determined by Lord Justice Edis to be a “direct” loss to the people of Nigeria in tax revenue, which was evaded by the use of bribes paid by Amec Foster Wheeler to Nigerian officials.

Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, said: “We have a zero tolerance approach to companies who think they can bribe their way to financial success.

“Bribery and corruption not only stifle real economic growth and free trade, they also damage democracy and therefore risk the security of all our countries.

“I am of course delighted that the tenacity of my SFO colleagues has resulted in the people of Nigeria being compensated in a way that will truly benefit them.” 

Minister Ford represented the UK Government at today’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Abuja, Nigeria. The agreement was also signed by Nigerian Attorney General Abubakar Malami.

Notes to editors:

  • This is the second time that an SFO DPA has included compensation for overseas victims of corruption, with the first delivering compensation to the Government of Tanzania after a 2015 DPA with Standard Bank. See the press release here. 
  • The Compensation will be used by the Federal Government of Nigeria exclusively for the purpose of financing segments of the following infrastructure projects that were approved by the Nigerian National Assembly under the 2020 Appropriation Act, and procured and approved by the Nigerian Federal Executive Council in accordance with Nigeria’s Bureau for Public Procurement Act, 2007 (“the Projects”):
  1. The Lagos to Ibadan Expressway
  2. The Abuja to Kano Road
  3. The Second Niger Bridge
  • The Memorandum of Understanding will be implemented by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. Its implementation will be monitored by the Attorney General of Nigeria and the UK Home Office.
  • At the time of the alleged offending, Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited was known as Foster Wheeler Energy Limited.
  • For more information on the SFO’s investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, please see the case page.
  • The DPA documents can be accessed through the links below:
    1. Deferred Prosecution Agreement
    2. Judgment
    3. Penalty schedule
    4. LJ Edis’ reasons for granting preliminary approval on 25 June
    5. Indictment
    6. Undertaking by Wood
    7. Statement of Facts
  • The SFO has secured a total of 12 DPAs to date. More information on the other DPAs can be found here.