Cameroon freezes $44.8m settlement between SNH and Savannah Power


Adolphe Moudiki, managing director of Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH), has suffered one other setback in his bid to purchase shares in Cameroon Oil Transportation Firm (Cotco), which manages the Cameroon aspect of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.

Following the board of administrators’ assembly held within the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé on 13 June, the acquisition by SNH of 10% of Savannah Power’s belongings in Cotco was “frozen” following a choice by the chairperson of the board Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, who can also be secretary basic of the presidency.

Arm wrestling

Contested by Chad, the preliminary settlement – which was concluded on 19 April and amounted to $44.8m – has been on the coronary heart of a tug-of-war between the Chadians and Cameroon.

The quarrel got here to a head the next day, on 20 April, with the recall of the Chadian ambassador primarily based in Yaoundé. Since then, Cameroon has stepped up its efforts to mollify rigiditys, with President Paul Biya sending Ngoh Ngoh to N’Djamena for talks with Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.

Biya additionally requested his commerce minister, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, to cross on Cameroon’s settlement for Chad to purchase out the belongings of Malaysia’s Petronas in Cotco to the Central African Financial and Financial Group (CEMAC).

This “company open sesame” – important beneath regional agreements – ought to allow N’Djamena to carry 53.7% of the shares within the firm that manages the Cameroonian part of the pipeline – an goal that Déby Itno and his authorities had been notably eager to realize.

A freeze, earlier than the remainder

Nevertheless, N’Djamena didn’t settle for Savannah Power’s presence and remained decided to oust it from Cotco. A brand new spherical of negotiations was then held in Paris on 24 Might on the Cotco board assembly.

The Chadian aspect – supported by Menguele Judith Clairence, the Cameroonian finance ministry consultant on Cotco’s board – got here up towards Moudiki, who was in favour of sustaining the settlement with Savannah. The assembly ended with out a definitive winner.

A couple of days later, nonetheless, the SNH chief tried to switch Clairence. On 8 June, he was turned down by the presidency, which thereby signalled its settlement with Chad. 5 days later, in a brand new spherical of talks, Ngoh Ngoh, obtained a freeze on the deal between Savannah and the Cameroonian oil and gasoline firm.

The Chadian authorities has taken word of this determination, quietly welcoming it. However the determination is just not but closing, as additional negotiations are undoubtedly nonetheless to return on Cotco’s shareholding construction.

It seems that this oil dispute being contested by N’Djamena and Yaoundé is much from over.

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