Why NPA revoked LADOL’s land lease agreement in Lagos ― Investigations

Fresh facts have emerged over why the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) revoked the land lease agreement signed with the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) because LADOL shortchanged the Federal Government and also violated the terms of the land lease at Tarkwa Bay, near Light House Beach in Lagos.

The NPA revoked the lease via a letter dated November 14, 2019, and addressed to the Managing Director of Messrs Global Resources Management Limited (GRML), the parent company of LADOL.

The letter, signed by NPA’s General Manager in charge of Land and Asset Administration, Mr Yusuf Ahmed reminded LADOL that “Clause 4.5 (a) of the agreement prohibits the lessee (LADOL) from subletting any part of the premises without written approval of the Lessor (NPA) and stipulates that any contravention ‘shall result in the automatic cancellation of this lease.”

NPA noted that its investigation revealed that LADOL executed a sublease dated September 13, 2013, with Messrs SHI-MCI Fze (representing Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria) without the required approval or recourse to the Lessor.

“Your actions in that regard led to the current impasse with resultant negative attention within and outside the country,” NPA said.

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“Consequently, the authority has reviewed the events and decided to exercise its rights under the lease and hereby revokes it with immediate effect,” NPA added.

LADOL also shortchanged the Federal Government by subleasing 11.2426 hectares of land out of the total 121 hectares leased to it at the outrageous amount of money without recourse to NPA.

In other words, LADOL collected a whopping $45 million (N16.2billion) from Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) for the 11.2426 hectares of land for which it paid only $524,105 (N37.73 million) to NPA.

In a letter dated November 22, 2013, GRML applied to NPA to sublease the 11.246 hectares to MCI-SHI FZE for the “purpose of expanding facilities at LADOL Offshore Support Facility in readiness to handle the integration of the Egina FPSO onshore in Nigeria for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Total Upstream Nigeria.”

However, while NPA obliged on March 12, 2014, it suspected foul play when GRML failed to furnish it with the sublease agreement between it and SHIN throughout the five-year tenor of the sublease, so as to conceal the actual amount it collected from SHIN.

During a period of five years, LADOL through GRML charged SHIN $9 million as rent per year for the portion of land which it was paying $104,821.95 annually to the ports authority.

Apart from profiting at the expense of the Federal Government by collecting outrageous amount from SHIN and paying far less to the NPA, documents also showed that LADOL, through GRML had also entered into another sublease agreement with an American company called Africoat Nigeria Limited, without any recourse to the NPA contrary to the provision of the head lease agreement with NPA.

Following these infractions, NPA terminated the contract before leasing the 11.24 hectares to SHIN in a fresh agreement of $219, 230, 700.00 per year to save SHIN’s fabrication and integration yard for which it borrowed $270 million to build.

Having allocated 11.24 hectares for SHIN, NPA also granted a fresh lease under new terms to LADOL for 5.7574 hectares of developed land and 69,2874 hectares of undeveloped land for five years with effect from November 14, 2019.

LADOL was required to pay N112,269,300 per annum for the developed land and N57,177,000 per annum for the undeveloped land, in addition to VAT of N8,472,315.

There is a convergence point of belief amongst philosophers, scholars, and pundits when analysing the key elements to the development of any society and the sustenance of generation-to-generation innovations. They all agreed that for any society to succeed, it must prioritise the education of its citizens. There are no two ways to it, only the acquisition of qualitative knowledge can preserve humanity and bring meaningful change.

Alas, if that belief becomes as basic as the air we breathe, Nigeria as a country will be out of oxygen before its next birthday celebration.

Nigeria’s education system is in an abysmal state. Our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are bedevilled by an array of enormous problems that have defied the antidotes prescribed by various governments since inception. It is either such drugs were mere placebo or not the real deal.

In the midst of these myriads of problems, one stands tall. The lack of adequate financing towards education in Nigeria is the kryptonite that has crippled all efforts to revive the sector. No matter the categorisation of the problems in the education sector today; be it lack of infrastructures, ill-equipped laboratories, inconducive learning environment, half-baked teachers, amongst others; the solution all rest with funding.

But while these problems persist, there is a Nigerian that has defied the odds and taken it upon himself to singlehandedly reduce the menace rocking the education sector.

Sir Kesington Adebutu has dedicated decades to proffering succour to these avalanche of problems at various levels of our educational institutions.

Moved by patriotism and the desire to straighten the path of our future generations who are directly affected by the state of our society and our level of development, the Knight of the British Empire took a self-administered oath to rid the education sector of its challenges. He created the Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation (KAAF) to lead the battle and spread development one State after the other.

In Ogun State, he has been responsible for infrastructural development in almost all the institutions across the State. Just a few weeks ago, he donated 85million naira for the construction of classrooms for Wesley Primary School and Christ Church Primary School in Ogere-Remo, this is in addition to the numerous donations of learning materials, libraries, laboratories and scholarship for students across the State.

When Tai Solarin University of Education was created, Sir Adebutu moved his foundation to site and constructed the biggest individual lecture theatre for the institution. He replicated the same feat at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and Olabisi Onabanjo University while still stretching a hand of succour to private institutions like Babcock University, Crescent University to mention a few.

Sir Adebutu’s donations across Ogun State education was so much that the State Government named the Gateway Polytechnic, Saapade, after him while alive. And like a champion, he didn’t back down from the responsibility. He took the institution as his own and went on a development spree, building lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories and administrative blocks for it.

But Adebutu didn’t limit his focus on Ogun State alone. In Lagos State, he has been responsible for the construction of tens of infrastructures across all the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the State, one of which is the recent 50 million naira e-library to the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro. Till date, he remains the largest donor to the prestigious University of Lagos.

In Oyo State, he was a major donor to Governor Ajimobi’s 50billion naira education trust fund for the state. He also singlehandedly built the Geriatric Rehabilitation Centre at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, as well as various rehabilitation projects across the State’s primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

Without the national budget at his disposal but merely drawing from the proceeds of his sweat and personal endeavours, Sir Adebutu has taken up the challenge to build a better country for the coming generations.

One can only pray that this Knight never gets tired of fighting!

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