Atiku’s Intels fumes as Nigerian govt terminates multi-million dollars contract

intels_office_building_project_img_1-720x450
Intels office building (Photo Credit: The Guardian)

Intels Nigeria Limited, INL, on Wednesday kicked against the termination of its Pilotage Agency Agreement by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

In its reaction on Wednesday, the company described the action as “preposterous” and highly injurious to Nigeria.

The company was reacting to decision of the NPA to terminate the agreement between the agency and Intels, several months after both parties had disagreements over the company’s operations in Nigerian ports.

On June 27, PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported how the Nigerian government was making moves against the operations of Intels, partly owned by former Nigerian vice-president and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar.

The company was founded over three decades ago by Gabriele Volpi, an Italian national who also has Nigerian citizenship, and former Vice-President, Mr. Abubakar.

Earlier in April, 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.

But on September 27, 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.

According to THISDAY newspaper, Mr. Malami in the said letter had stated 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.

But Intels, in a statement on Wednesday, disclosed that following the letter from the Mr. Malami, directing NPA to terminate the pilotage agreement, NPA promptly ended the contract on October 10, without inviting it as the other party to the agreement for negotiation.

It also alleged that the NPA acted without due recourse to the terms of the agreement that specify conditions precedent before a party can exit the contract.

Based on the directive, Intels stands to lose several millions of dollars in commissions for the monitoring and supervision pilotage services it handles on behalf of NPA on Nigerian coastal waters.

Mr. Malami, in the letter, made it expressly clear that the agreement violated Sections 80(1) and 162(1) and (10) of the constitution, and wondered that both NPA and Intels did not avert their minds to the relevant provisions when they were negotiating the agreement in 2010.

But in its reaction on Wednesday, Intels argued that the termination of the agreement which was conveyed to the firm in a letter signed by the NPA boss on Tuesday, was “clearly preposterous and the consequences highly injurious” to the interests of Nigeria.

In a letter signed by a Director of Intels, Silvano Bellinato, the logistic firm said the action by NPA would force it to reconsider its multi-billion dollar investment at the Badagry deep seaport in Lagos, adding that the investment would have created thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

It explained that it had invested too much in the country and if the Nigerian government was not prepared to respect the sanctity of its contract, it would resort to the courts to challenge NPA’s action.

The company, therefore, gave NPA seven days to reconsider the decision, look into the critical areas of their relationship and to agree on a common solution.

According to the company, the NPA’s failure to address its concern shall lead to arbitration.

The company also alleged that the NPA was indebted to it to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) acknowledged a debt towards Intels Nigeria Limited (INL) in the sum of 674,767,415.00 US$ (in addition to the interests accrued in the meantime),” it said.

“NPA communicated the need to reconcile the sum of 109,000,000.00 US$ for the additional works carried out; NPA informed INL about the implementation to be discussed in respect of a ‘transit account’ called NPA service boat revenue collection account domiciled at one of the banks indicated by you and the related standard operating procedures (SOP); NPA confirmed 28% agency commission to INL and the 72% balance to be shared between NPA and INL in the ratio 30:70.

It stated further: “On March 27th 2017, we replied to every point in your letter of 15th March as stated below: INL took note of NPA’s acknowledgement of debt; INL declared availability to meet NPA in order to discuss the details for the certification of the 109,000,000.00 US$ for the additional works carried out.

“INL requested for postponement of the SOP application. On April 19th 2017, NPA acknowledged our acceptance of NPA’s proposal in respect of 28% agency commission (already included in the existing running Agency Agreement) and in particular to the 30% – 70% split, respectively to NPA and INL, related to the 72% balance. This would imply that the 30% is to be remitted on a monthly basis to NPA while the 70% is to be applied towards reducing the indebtedness to INL.

“Regarding the TSA application, NPA reiterated the strategic importance of such a request. However it is noted that TSA was not part of the existing agency agreement between the parties.”

Meanwhile, the company said that on May 5, it replied NPA’s letter of April 19 proposing the opening of a jointly signed account between INL and NPA in which the boat service revenues would have been directed.

Mr. Bellinato explained that: “Afterwards the account holders, with relative proxies, would remit the respective portions due to the parties, being 30% in favour of NPA and 70% in favour of INL.

“In the same letter we indicated our availability to identify the bank, from among the ones indicated by NPA; regarding the reasons of our proposal we firmly reiterated the precariousness of our financial status, mainly attributable to the credits towards NPA and heavily financed by various credit institutions.

“Such circumstances rendered alternative solutions to the ones suggested by us unviable, and also taking into consideration the inapplicability of TSA to running contracts in the manner proposed by NPA.

“Clearly, deduction of entitlements due to INL from collections under the Agreement, and payment of the balance into the designated NPA account for TSA purposes, would be in compliance with the TSA policy.”

The logistic firm also maintained that the decision by NPA to terminate the Agency Agreement, which was totally unexpected in consideration of the meetings held by the parties and exchange of letters, was clearly preposterous and the consequences highly injurious to the interests of the company.

“Hence, in compliance with the Article 12 of the Agency Agreement between the NPA and INL, we hereby request you to schedule a meeting within seven days from the date of this letter, in order to analyse the residual critical areas of our relationship and to agree, to the possible extent, on a common solution.

“Should this not happen, we hereby notify you that, in accordance with Article 13 of the Agreement, we will refer the matters to arbitration, in order to safeguard our company from the significant damages and other adverse consequences that may result from this rather unbecoming decision,” it said.


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  • kinsly

    Good move by the Govt and MPS, it’s long overdue. How can Atiku as a seating Vice President award himself a contract to collect revenue for a mega Govt agency like NPA. Next move should be to jail the Criminal Atiku once and for all.

  • AFRICANER

    A clear case of two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Atiku has no business being a monopolist at the ports. However, the reason for stopping his monopoly should not be political, simply because he is trying to run against the incumbent.

    Therefore, I disagree with the end, because disagree with the means. The means did not justify the end.

    • Ashibogu

      Good talk. Intels is not an Atiku company contrary to what many think. It is owned by a group of persons(Atiku inclusive) and institutional investors. It has operations in several African countries and Europe. What the Federal Government is doing will hurt our national drive to attract foreign investments into Nigeria. The truth is that our country is broke and cannot afford to provide all of our infrastructural needs. It is the success story of Intels that attracted envy and attacks from other firms. If PHCN was handed over to a player in the mould of Intels we will not be crying today. That was how they wanted to steal Arik and give it to Ethiopians to manage. I am into business and it is not easy to survive in Nigeria. Nobody has accused Intels of non performance. What the government can do is to dialogue with Intels on how Federal Government can best partner with it to move the industry forward. The Federal Government even muted the idea of buying shares in the company so that it can share in its success . That is how it is done everywhere. Jankara no go work! Nigeria is a democracy and is not under military dictatorship wherein everything is done with immediate effect.

  • Ashibogu

    Read the report well. The afore said Pilotage contract was instituted in 2010. Was Atiku the President then? The Badagary Deep Seaport Agreement was signed in 2013. Was Atiku the President or Vice in 2013? My brother, the truth is that Nigeria is broke and needs private investments to grow the economy. Intels was established over three decades ago. A child that was born at that time will be a married man today. NPA is owing Intels the same way NNPC is owing the International Oil Companies cash call payments. It is unquestionably uncharitable for you to be owing a man $700M dollars on a joint investment project and seek to terminate the contract. If Intels goes on arbitration Nigeria will pay through its nose. Arbitration can last for years and the status quo will be maintained. Arbitration will take place overseas and there will be no political interference in the process. More importantly, the negative image such a process will have on a country’s business procedures will be incalculable. Our government officials must learn to follow due process. You can call for contract re- negotiation If you feel or believe a business agreement is no longer favorable to you . You cannot take the laws into your own hands. I laughed in vernacular when I read the reason why government terminated the contract. They claimed it was due to circumstances beyond their control. Haba! Has TSA now become an act of God? As a people, we must learn to observe contracts. A lot of foreign investors shy away from investing in Nigeria primarily because they believe we are not honest in sticking to agreements. Just ask yourself why the Port of Cotonu attracts more investors than the Ports in Lagos. Go to Onne and see what Intels have done there. Government did everything to save Etisalat recently because it claimed jobs were going to be lost though we knew it was because of some vested interests. Again, ask yourself, which company employs more workers between Intels and Etisalat? Intels has invested over two billion dollars in its facilities nationwide. Even if they hate Atiku they must respect the Investment of Intels.

    • Prince Prince

      The NPA Lady is appointee of El Rufai. El Rufai is not comfortable with Atiku’s rising profile especially his position on Restructuring and he is doing everything possible to stop him. We shall see how far the dimwit can go.

  • Akin Mabolaje Coker

    @disqus_5qrTly6DBt:disqus

    Abubakar Atiku and a a matter of urgent national importance

    I always get my news
    from Premium Times between 4.00am and 6.00am when my neighbour puts on
    his generator and his wi-fi which signals can reach my room to tap. I was lucky
    today. My neighbour forgot to put off his wi-fi and that is why I can easily do
    internet at this time. The battery must be fully full. Now what am I saying? I
    was enjoying my free browsing until Premium Times did this story on Ports
    Authority and INTELS owned by Abubakar Atiku. I read it and I was very angry.
    Premium Times said Buhari government cancelled the INTELS contract because
    INTELS violated Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution.

    I now looked at Section 10 of the Constitution
    of NIGERIA. It says: “The Government of the Federation or of a State
    shall not adopt any religion as State Religion
    .” I now asked myself: ‘Is
    INTELS private company Limited a STATE now, or the 37th state of Nigeria,
    and if it is a state, can the Islamist Mujahedeen called Muhamadu Buhari tell us
    what religion INTELS private company has adopted as a state religion?” I am in a
    hurry to know the answer to this question, please!

    • Usher- Join The Revolution

      “Sections 80(1) and 162(1) and (10)” is it the same as section 10? Seems you do not know the difference between section and sub section.
      Let me elaborate for numskull like you:
      *Sections 80(1) – Section 80 subsection 1
      *Section 162(1) – Section 162 subsection 1
      *Section 162(10) – Section 162 subsection 10

      • Walter Debosky

        Not numskull, but numbskull, Ka ji ko!

  • Maitama Tambari

    “The logistic firm also maintained that the decision by NPA to terminate the Agency Agreement, which was totally unexpected in consideration of the meetings held by the parties and exchange of letters, was clearly preposterous and the consequences highly injurious to the interests of the company”

    The interest of INTELS not the interest of Nigerians.
    INTELS and NPA outsourcing agreement started in June 1997 with 5% Commission which has jumped to 28% while the revenue was also improving geometrical.

    Late President YarAdua had recommended the termination of this outsourcing agreement in 2008 when he directed that the Minister of Transfer should revert to President OBASANJO decision that importers of oil and cargoes should be be free to choose port of preference for their cargoes and resulted in the termination of the Minister’s from the cabinet. One of the directives was the cancellation of this agreement. When the Attorney General quoted 2010 as the beginning of the outsourcing, it showed that MPA had complied with late President YarAdua’s directives of 2008. Somebody must have gone back to enter into the agreement again in 2010.

    Enough is enough. NPA should stick to the Attorney General directives and allow its Staff to continue with the services because in the initial agreement INTELS was to train NPA Staff within five years whereby the Staff to take over the services. But the agreement was renewed in 2003 and further renewed in 2007 with 15% Commission after which late President YarAdua intervention in 2008.

    Termination is very good for the market and the Nigerian economy in general. Remember INTELS doesn’t add any value in the economy but renders services which Staff NPA are already rendering.

  • Emeka

    Atiku and his associates have guts, honestly! I can’t believe this rubbish is coming from a company that has indirectly defrauded Nigeria for years, and still has the temerity to spew such abomination… The constitutional subs that were made reference to by the Attorney General , do not make any meaning to them, simply because their hopes and strength for impunity are firmly anchored on the magic of our corrupt judges, anyways, we are waiting patiently for them.

    That you signed a contract agreement without taking cognizance of the express law of the land, is meaningless and of no value. Who are they to detect for a country how to run its affairs? I just pray the FG could go a step further , , , in sueing for illegal revenues they have criminally made over years. Go to court, we are waiting for you thieves in court, perhaps they don’t know Nigerians are now wiser, and we hear and see everything, thank God for social media!

    • Someone

      they are just scape-goating atiku. the bigger contract is the nnpc scandal with baru. they give with left hand and take with right hand. everything with these northerners is just complete greed and corruption.

      • kinsly

        When did that your bigger contract happen? So we should suspend and pardon all criminality because your bigger NNPC contract happened?Mugu.

        • Someone

          listen man. this is the script, it is buhari script to malami.
          they are using atiku as a scape-goat, but atiku knows anyway, so he plays along.

          this is to say buhari is tough on corruption. they take with left hand, and give with right hand. you should understand how this works. it’s like a child’s game, but they think all nigerians are fools

  • Someone

    i suspect this will not go on in the future. when you see someone like Managing Director Hadiza Bala-Usman running ports that are in the south. are there ports in the north???????????????
    the more you see all the rubbish these northerners are doing the more you feel disgust for them. anything they touch, nothing good comes out of it, just bad quality, corruption, corruption, corruption.

    i don’t know if buhari is in his right mind or not, putting a northerner in charge of the ports.

    • kinsly

      Go back to your tent or say something reasonable without mentioning tribe, Zone or ethnicity.

      • Someone

        listen man. this is the script, it is buhari script to malami.

        they are using atiku as a scape-goat, but atiku knows anyway, so he plays along.

        this is to say buhari is tough on corruption. they take with left hand, and give with right hand. you should understand how this works. it’s like a child’s game, but they think all nigerians are fools.

    • aisha ani

      Come on now, so the ports is now property of the South? Before you say anything Baru is my cousin in my head, there you have it.

  • Someone

    why is this malami not investigating baru nnpc scandal?

    • Maitama Tambari

      Which scandal? You haven’t been following the news because you are INTELS Staff. There is no scandal since confirmation has been given that the Presidency gave the two approvals. GMD didn’t commit any offense as he had followed due process as a season bureaucrat.

      • Someone

        nonsense. who said that????? you or buhari?????

        you have been paid by baru, i see. you work for pengassan?????

  • FreeNigeria

    Atiku, time for someone else to chop. New billionaire in the making

    • Someone

      don’t be fooled, this is a script. the bigger scam is the baru nnpc scandal.
      this is to say buhari is tough on corruption. they are most likely working with atiku on this.
      this is plan-c since plan-a is getting opposition everywhere.

      • Absolutely Sane

        Wow! What a thought! Can’t imagine we can still see any man think like this. However, don’t be too happy: You think like a mosquito!

      • Quantumspirit666

        You sound like a waste of space.

  • Kolawole sly

    Haaba atiku enough of the Chopins leave the rest for the boys

  • Chuma Anierobi

    Take FG to court for redress. This garbage will not fly through.

  • international games

    No country can be great without the sanctity of Contracts. It is the Supreme Court that decides if a Contract violates the Constitution, Not Government that signed the contract.

    • Saidu Aliero Yusuf

      clap for yourself

  • Mr. Abdin

    This development will lead to a lot of job loss in the country. The FG need to think twice.

  • BABUYANMA

    Atiku is already on his way back to PDP

  • Someone

    silly man, this a script. plan c, to say buhari is fighting corruption. atiku knows this will happen because he has already agreed to this action.
    the bigger corruption is the nnpc scandal.

  • Rev

    It is very sad. The way the Northern aspect of Nigeria has sidelined the South especially the Igbos is very very unfortunate. This is just one huge example of the sate of affairs in Nigeria. They share the bulk of the nation’s resources among themselves and live the crumbs for the Igbos and you can imagine the plight of the other minorities. Nigeria seriously needs a reconsideration.

    • marc umeh

      When you control the police and the military, etc , you can do and undo.
      Dangote , Atiku etc can afford to pay the salary of ALL the southerners.
      So don’t open your mouth too wide before the python start dancing !!!

  • Quantumspirit666

    ATIKU,OBASANJO,DINGO MELAYE,Hunchback Nadi KANU,FAYOSE,FANIKOSHIDE. should all be executed.Nigeria needs a JERRY RAWLINGS.

  • Edmund Harold

    It’s so sad. Those around PMB are so heartless. This company is one of the biggest employer in ithe Niger. Delta and you don’t care all because he is contesting against PMB.

  • Bassey Frank

    Turaki, you have to bear it. It is the price to pay for not being “true” APC. But bear it; You are more popular, better educated, more politically sagacious, dynamic and widely accepted than PMB. Besides, you are not a tribal warlord like him.

  • share Idea

    Are you suggesting that the FG has stopped fuel subsidy? The problem with this administration is that it is not transparent and the gullible are not been told what is going on behind the scenes. Could you have imagined that this administration have been awarding billions of dollar contract in NNPC without publicity, at the end when the revenue is generated and the companies that lent us money deduct their loan from source, people would be wondering why the country is not seeing any sign of oil revenue.

  • Eyo

    Most comments here are so disgusting, its coming from the minds of ethnic and tribal bigots. Lost and confused Nigerians, perpetually imprisoned by mental poverty, ethnic and religious bigotry. I sorry for una. Nigeria is moving on and leaving y’all behind losers. Genuine Nigerians are positing them self, working toward the future while these bunch of hungry unemployable, ignorant morons and frustrated losers are ranting here, wasting their time, thinking tribe and religious sentiments will pay their child schools. Its so pathetic sufferings Nigeria celebrate their oppressors. Atiku is a thief, a big one for that matter.

  • aisha ani

    Na only Dangote go chop cement? There are a lot of Atiku’s out there, the government should treat them the same.

  • aisha ani

    I don’t read newspapers thank you.