FG hammer falls on Atiku’s firm Intels, ordered to quit ports

Oil and gas logistics giant, Intels Nigeria Limited, a company co-owned by ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar, says the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) deliberately frustrated attempts to address the issues concerning implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the execution of its pilotage agency agreement.

NPA had based the termination of its contract with Intels on the company’s alleged refusal to get on the TSA platform.

In a statement on Monday, Intels explained that the pilotage agency agreement signed in 2010 did not envisage the TSA, and as such did not factor it in its implementation.

Intels revealed that it borrowed $1.4 billion (N428.4 billion) from banks to execute the agreement with the understanding that the debt would be offset from monies realised from the pilotage services paid directly to the banks.

Its spokesman, Bolaji Akinola, said a series of meetings, letters and proposals on how to resolve the TSA imbroglio were rebuffed by NPA boss, Hadiza Bala-Usman.

“Deliberate stumbling blocks were placed on the path of resolving the issues and this is indicative of a sinister motive,” Akinola noted.

Akinola said that on May 5, 2017, Intels sent a letter to NPA proposing the opening of a jointly signed account between the company and NPA on which the boat service revenues would have been directed, but the proposal, like many others, was rebuffed.

He also faulted claims by NPA that the contract was terminated based on the advice of the AGF.

“At what point are revenues eligible to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund? NPA acting on behalf of the federal government entered into a profit sharing agreement with Intels. 72% of the revenue goes to NPA while 28% is for Intels.

“The objective interpretation of the constitution should be that the revenue due to the federation should be the 72 per cent due to NPA,” he said.

Akinola also said that NPA could not fault Intels in the execution of the contract, “which we handled most diligently.

“Intels faithfully implemented the covenants of the agency agreement and also substantially boosted government revenue.

“We took the pilotage service from a revenue stream of a few thousand dollars per month to a multimillion dollars per month service, hence attracting the envy of many.”

The company stated the persecution it is currently facing is “rather unfortunate and will certainly not stand the test of time”.

The Intels spokesman said those who criticise the company’s operation are “either ignorant or mischievous” about the company’s monumental achievements and value addition to the Nigerian economy.

He stressed that the present management of NPA is pandering to the antics of the company’s detractors at the expense of government revenue, huge investments and several jobs, contrary to the position of fairness and objectivity that it should have adopted.

“It is clear that there is more to all these than the TSA issue because all our attempts to resolve the TSA imbroglio hit a brick wall.

“There was no sincere or genuine desire to address the issue. What was evident was a clear case of giving a dog a bad name to justify hanging it,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the FIRS sealed the headquarters of Intels in Onne, Rivers State, yesterday.

  • Courtesy, Daily Post


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