The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has terminated a boat operation contract being handled by Intels Nigeria Limited, INL.
In a marine information notice dated September 1, the Lagos Pilotage District (LPD) of the NPA said the service, hitherto handled by Intels, has been terminated.
The notice, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, was signed by Daniel Hosea, Harbour Master of the LPD.
According to the notice, the LPD directed all service boats owners and operators to do transactions directly in each of the Port Complex of the NPA.
“Every Service Boat movement must be reported and booked at the office of the Harbour Master of the District, where Pilotage Chits and Master Declaration Forms will be issued and returned after every movement,” the notice said.
“Every enquiry on Service Boat movement should be directed to the office of the Port Manager of the Ports/Harbour Master, Pilotage District.”
The NPA and Intels have a long history of media face-off and disagreements.
In June 2017, PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported how the Nigerian government moved against Intels, partly owned by former Nigerian vice-president, Atiku Abubakar.
The company was founded over three decades ago by Gabriele Volpi, an Italian national who also has Nigerian citizenship, and Mr Abubakar.
Earlier in April of that year, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the recommendations of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, breaking the near-monopoly of Mr Atiku’s Intels in the handling of oil and gas cargoes in the country.
On September 27, 2017, Mr. Malami wrote to the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, directing her to terminate the boats pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement that the agency had with Intels, saying that the contract was illegal.
Mr Malami argued that the agreement which had allowed Intels to receive revenue on behalf of NPA for 17 years, was in contravention of the Nigerian Constitution, especially in view of the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of government.
Not done, the NPA terminated the Pilotage Agency Agreement with Intels, several months after both parties had disagreements over the company’s operations in Nigerian ports.
In its reaction at the time, Intels kicked against the termination of the agreement describing the action as “preposterous” and highly injurious to Nigeria.
The company claimed that NPA ended the contract without inviting it as the other party to the agreement for negotiation.
Last year, Intels said it is not indebted to the NPA but said rather, the authority owes it more than$750 million.
The company noted that while it is open to an amicable resolution of the contract dispute with NPA, it was willing to proceed in all appropriate directions to protect its interests and employees.
The new development may signal the beginning of yet another disagreement between the NPA and the company.
Already, PREMIUM TIMES gathered Thursday night that Intels is claiming that it was schemed out of the service boat arrangement.
But a source said that the service boat contract has expired and the NPA is seeking to change the way it is being handled.
According to the source, the NPA wants to allow for competitive bidding and Intels too can apply in the new arrangement.
When contacted for details of the new development Thursday, Adams Jatto, NPA’s spokesperson, said he is on leave and cannot comment.