October 22, 2017

INTELS SAGA: We have not received any letter of apology – NPA MD

Hadeza Bala Usman, NPA

Hadiza Bala Usman

By Godwin Oritse
Running against the grain of claims that oil and gas logistics giant, Intels, has apologised to the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, the latter, yesterday, said that it was yet to receive any letter of apology from Intels.

Hadiza Bala Usman

In a telephone interview with Sunday Vanguard, Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadeza Bala Usman, said that the organization was not in receipt of the letter of apology from Intels.

Usman also told Sunday Vanguard that if such letter was sent by Intels, it was yet to get to her table, adding that if it ever comes to NPA, it will be looked into and treated accordingly.

She explained that anything short of complying with the Treasury Single Account, TSA, will not be acceptable.

On an amicable resolution of the imbroglio, she said: “What do you mean by an amicable resolution, we still stand by our decision of paying all collections into the TSA.   We have not received Intel’s letter and if by  Monday  we receive it, we will treat it accordingly.”

The NPA said it relied on advice from the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to terminate the contract.

Intels had earlier, faulted the termination, saying it would challenge it in court.

It will be recalled that the founder of Intels Mr. Gabriele Volpi, apologised to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria government over the crisis that led to termination of the company’s pilotage agreement.

He explained that he was not involved in the botched negotiation between Intels and the NPA and pledged that his company would transfer all the revenue collected from the boat monitoring and supervision services to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as the NPA had demanded.

He said “We want to apologize to the federal government and NPA over this disagreement with Intels. I was not personally involved in the negotiations with NPA, but we apologise for what has happened.

“We intend to comply with the directive of government and transfer all the revenue to the TSA because we are a law-abiding company,” Mr. Volpi was quoted as saying.

He said Intels will cooperate with the federal government and the NPA in the development of Nigeria’s maritime sector, including the construction of the Badagry deep seaport in Lagos State.

Following the revocation of its pilotage contract, Intels had reportedly threatened to walk away from its multi-billion dollars investment at the Badagry deep seaport in Lagos. “We are committed to co-operating with the government and NPA in the development of Nigeria’s maritime sector and this includes the Badagry deep seaport. “The Badagry deep seaport is a massive undertaking which will cost billions of dollars and will be the biggest in Africa and would turn Nigeria into a regional hub for ships bringing goods to the continent.

“It will also help to move a lot of shipping activities at the Apapa and Tin-can Island ports and help to decongest Apapa, so we are serious about our investments in Nigeria,” Mr. Volpi said.