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Contrary to speculations that the 2017 crisis with Intels Logistics group, core investors at Onne FTZ, which led to the termination of its pilotage agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will not be resolved, Intels and NPA are now coming to terms.
However, the federal agency has made it clearer that “Yes, we have given them a deadline on payments that they need to make and if they don’t, the notice of termination will stand”.
“It’s a violation of the contract of agreement if you refuse to remit the monies that are meant for an agency of the government. I haven’t put the date on issuing it but I’m giving the INTELS a possible two weeks window to provide that payment following which the notice of termination will not be withdrawn. I just want to add that all procedure have been done, all manners of communications have been made to INTELS to remit those monies
Usman argued that “I keep saying that these are monies that were generated so it’s not as if I’m asking you to pay for something with your money, these are revenues that you collected for a service on behalf of the NPA. You cannot even say that you do not have the monies”.
Whereas industry stakeholders’ see the latest development as a good sign of reconciliation, they advised Intels to use the window to do the needful so as to continue their operations and save the jobs of hundreds of Nigerians.
Explaining more in an interview, NPA boss noted that “We are now in the process of recalling the notice of termination, but we have a few financial issues we need to resolve”.
She said “Within the period of 2017, INTELS collected revenues on our behalf and did not remit any monies. So we have an outstanding of 48 million dollars that has not been paid by INTELS for the period of 12 months which represents 30 per cent of the revenues we generated on that service. We believe these are monies that are meant for Nigerians and those monies need to be given to us to remit to the TSA account”.
On the response of the INTELS regarding those monies, NPA boss averred that “They have agreed that they will pay but my point is that you pay now. If you look at the relationship, if we had a TSA account, this would not arise. The monies would come to our coffers and we would pay them but because the monies were going to their coffers, they chose to retain the monies”. She queried “How can you have a situation where a private company sits on your revenues and refuses to remit those monies to you and refuses to comply with the treasury single account? If we had the TSA in place, we would not be in a situation where INTELs have 48 million dollars of government revenues in their coffers for 12 months and they refuse to pay. I have also made the INTELS understand that we are going to charge them for interest on that money for the period it has been with them”.
NPA is said to be expecting about $48m payment from Intels since last year when the differences manifested leading operational disquiet at Onne and other Intels formations in Nigeria.
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who had since last year zoomed off to opposition political party to drive his 2019 presidential bid, is rumoured to own a controlling share in the embattled company.
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