State Minister for Power, energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today said the BNP-Jamaat alliance while in power made deals with Niko with a motive to jeopardize Bangladesh financially through corruption.
“BNP-Jamaat is very harmful for the country. They made the corruption to jeopardize the country financially through Niko deals,” he told newsmen soon after a High Court (HC) verdict declaring Canadian company Niko’s joint venture deal with Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) as illegal.
The state minister said previously the BNP-Jamaat damaged the country to a larger extent through corruption, forcing the local people to face health hazard, adding, “Such a political alliance should not represent Bangladesh in future at home and abroad.”
“It would be disgraceful for the country if these parties represent Bangladesh at home and abroad in future. BNP is also a terrorist party, already declared by a Canadian court earlier,” he said.
Nasrul said through this High Court verdict, Bangladesh can get back all gas fields from Niko, adding, “The BNP-Jammat made corruption for only USD 4 million by the deals and this figure may increase following further investigation. The corruption caused billions of dollar loss for the country.”
“Bangladesh could get huge gas at that time when the deals were signed, thus helping the country with increased industrial development. Now we can demand compensation from Niko. Basically Niko is a corrupt company found to be proved abroad,” he said.
Referring to the High Court verdict, the state minister said, “We have collected proofs to this corruption from the Canadian government, mountain police and some of these evidences are very important because the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) submitted written and direct witnesses after collecting from Niko corruption evidences.”
“Niko’s confessional statement in Canadian court proved the involvement of Giasuddin Mamun by video witnesses. We submitted evidences in Bangladesh’s High Court and the court gave verdict on the basis of those evidences alongside Niko’s confessional statement and for that reason government would get back the gas fields,” he added.
Nasrul, however, said Bangladesh would wait for the verdict of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) adding, “The ICSID took time for hearing Bangladesh’s case along with evidences because we submitted all evidences to the ICSID.”
He said the government stopped all payments for gas supplied by Niko. “We stopped gas payment and now the HC declared deals with Niko illegal so in future there is no scope to maintain contract with the corrupt company. No question arises for payment to Niko.”
The High Court (HC) in its verdict today declared as illegal Niko’s joint venture deal with Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) and gas purchase and sales agreement (GPSA) with Petrobangla.
The court also ordered confiscation of all properties of the Canadian company, fell under the two deals, in Bangladesh and not to pay Niko any money until the disposal of two graft and compensation cases involving the company.
Earlier, a workshop was held on cyber security threats and risks in the power and energy sector. Wong Loke Yeow, director and service line leader (Cyber Security) of Hill and Associates Limited presented a keynote paper on Physical security risks and cyber security awareness.