Tullow’s Ugandan venture still causing problems

According to the Daily Mail, Tullow Oil is involved in another controversy in Uganda after “snubbing” Dr Martin Aliker, a high-profile businessman in Uganda and close confidant of President Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda.

Dr Aliker was chairman of Heritage Uganda when he worked for Heritage Oil when it sold it licences to explore in Lake Albert to Tullow in 2010. He was paid £37,000 a year to act as a conduit between the firm and Museveni’s office. The Daily Mail reports that Tullow paid some of Dr Aliker’s expenses after the deal but later decided not to employ him, triggering a demand by the businessman for some £112,000 in compensation.

Reports suggest that Dr Aliker is considering a legal claim for the money. He previously rejected an undisclosed sum that Tullow offered despite saying that it was under no obligation to make any payment. Dr Aliker said: “From what I understand I was the only one who wasn’t given a job or at least a severance payment. It isn’t so much about the sum itself but the damage this has done to my reputation in Uganda.”

It is also understood that Dr Aliker played a round of golf with Graham Martin, Tullow’s general counsel, earlier this year to discuss his claim. Martin later wrote to him saying that no payment would be made. “Perhaps I should have let him beat me?” joked Dr Aliker. Tullow has declined to comment.

The dispute is the latest in a long list arising from Tullow’s purchase of assets from Heritage in 2010. The two firms fought a courtroom battle over a £277million capital gains tax bill imposed by Museveni’s government, during which time UK Foreign Minister William Hague lobbied Museveni on Tullow’s behalf. In addition, claims that Tullow planned to offer £31million to meet Museveni’s “short term needs and demands” during the capital gains tax row were brought to light in court.

 

Read the original article: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2508048/Tullow-latest-row-900m-Ugandan-acquisition.html

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