The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has given Intels Nigeria Limited three months to quit.
NPA gave this marching order barely a week after terminating boats pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement with Intels, owned by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, said in Lagos yesterday that the authority would proceed on an arrangement to engage another firm.
The NPA had terminated the agreement with Intels based on the decision of the federal government that it violated the Nigerian Constitution.
The NPA boss blamed Intels for refusing to pay revenue into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the federal government.
She said all efforts to get the company to obey the directive was met with various excuses until the NPA wrote to seek the AGF’s legal advice on how to proceed with the NPA/Intels relationship in a letter dated May 31, 2017.
She said: “The legal advice contained in a September 27, 2017 letter addressed to the Managing Director of the Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) expressly stated as follows: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, the agreement for the monitoring and supervision of pilotage districts in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria on terms inter alia that permits Intels to receive revenue generated in each pilotage district from service boat operations in consideration for 28% of total revenue as commission to Intels is void, being a contract ex facie illegal as formed for permitting Intels to receive federal government revenue contrary to the express provisions of Sections 80(1) and 162(1) and (10) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which mandates that such revenue must be paid into the Federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Fund.’
“In the premise of the above, the conflict between the agreement and the TSA policy presents a force majeure event under the agreement, and NPA should forthwith commence the process of issuing the relevant notices to Intels exiting the agreement which indeed was void ab initio.”
She further stated that as a responsible agency, the NPA has proceeded to act as advised, stressing that it was now determined more than ever to terminate the contract forthwith.
“The Authority has taken note of threats by Intels to withdraw its investment plans in Nigeria and must point that business thrives in favour of everyone involved only when the laws of the country of operation are adhered to. No organization is above the Nigerian constitution and it is only when all corporate entities obey the laws of the country that everyone benefits. There must be a level playing field for all players in the sector and this is the commitment of the Authority,” she said.