DESCRIBE it as a case of the more you look, the less you see and you have a perfect description of the decision by the federal government to reinstate Intels Nigeria Limited to port operations in Nigeria.
Integrated Logistics Services (Intels) Nigeria Limited was until 2021 co-owned by Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Alhaji Atiku contested this year’s presidential election against the incumbent president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Eighteen-Eleven Media reports that the federal government through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in 2020, terminated its contract with Integrated Logistics Services (Intels) Nigeria Limited.
By implication, this means that the boat service operations previously handled by a third-party company, which is Intels Nigeria Limited, would now be handled directly by the NPA.
The company provided comprehensive integrated logistics services for the Nigerian oil and gas industry and has 30 years of experience in port management and support services in shore bases across Nigeria.
Eighteen-Eleven Media further reports that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar sold his interests in Intels through a series of transactions in 2021.
However, in a memo dated 30th November 2023, signed by Charles B. Okaga, Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, citing a presidential directive dated 18th August 2023 and the consent judgment of a Federal High Court, Lagos dated 21st of September 2023, it informs that the Authority (NPA) has extended the Service Boat Operation Contract between it and Intels Nigeria Limited.
It reads thus: “This is to kindly inform you that sequel to the Presidential Directives dated 18th August 2023 and the consent Judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos dated 21st of September 2023, the Authority has extended the Service Boat Operation Contract between it and Intels Nigeria Limited.
“Further to the above and to support the Authority’s and Federal Government’s drive to increase revenue generation from the Service Boat Operations, Messrs. Intels Nigeria Limited has been directed to resume services immediately. This is in line with the terms of the extended contract contained in the Managing Agency Agreement conveying the scope of Services, in addition to the obligations of the Agent.
“Consequent upon the above, you are hereby directed to ensure that Intels Nigeria Limited is allowed unrestricted access to information on Pilotage Movements and to be provided with the necessary assistance to successfully commence operations as the Authority’s Managing Agent on Service Boat operations in Lagos Pilotage District (LPD).
“While thanking you for your usual cooperation, please accept as always the assurances of our esteemed regards.”
The NPA had in June 2019 terminated its contract with Intels Nigeria Limited. The then Managing Director of the NPA, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman said that the decision to terminate the services of Intels was informed by the latter’s inability to remit over $140 million to the federal government’s coffers, being the accumulated revenue it generated for a period of time.
“Intels was providing a service of collecting revenue for port operations and they were not remitting as and when due,” she said.
She recalled that after she came on board as NPA MD, she signed “a supplementary agreement which required all revenues generated to be paid into the single treasury account (TSA).”
Usman said Intels, however, reneged on the agreement it had with the NPA and the Authority was left with no option but to cancel the contract outright.
She said: “Following the agreement, Intels has been very difficult in making payments to us. They owe us over $140million that they have not remitted. So, we felt such non-compliance and such a level of impunity should not be accepted, hence we issued a notice of termination to them.
“We are going to advertise for a replacement company that would offer such services at a cheaper cost because Intels is charging the Nigerian government 28 percent for revenue collection and typically such commissions are limited to 10-15 percent.
“You hardly see where an agency is charging 28 percent. So, we have issued a notice of termination and we are also going to court to ensure that those monies not credited by Intels are paid back”.