The management of Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics giant, Intels Nigeria Limited has said that the present management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) deliberately frustrated attempts to address the issues raised by introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the execution of its pilotage agency agreement.
Intels said the issues arose because the pilotage agency agreement, signed in 2010, did not envisage the TSA, and as such did not factor it in its implementation.
The company said 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.
According to a statement signed by Intel’s Spokesman, Bolaji Akinola, on Monday, the firm stated that series of meetings, letters and proposals on how to resolve the TSA imbroglio was rebuffed by the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman.
“Deliberate stumbling blocks were placed on the path of resolving the issues and this is indicative of a sinister motive,” Akinola stated.
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Akinola said that on 5th May 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 that this proposal, like many others, was rebuffed.
He also faulted claims by NPA that the contract was terminated based on the advise of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“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”.
According to him, “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 multi-million dollars per month service hence attracting the envy of many.”
The company also said that the persecution it is currently facing is “rather unfortunate” and will certainly not stand the test of time.
The Intels spokesman said those who criticize the company’s operation are “either ignorant or mischievous” about the company’s monumental achievements and value addition to the Nigerian economy.
He said 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 met 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,” he added.