23 October 2017

Nigeria: Despite Apology, Intels Yet to State Readiness to Comply With TSA - NPA

The Nigerian Ports Authority is yet to be notified of the readiness of Intels Nigeria Limited to comply with the Treasury Single Account policy of the government, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, has told PREMIUM TIMES.

Intels chief, Gabrielle Volpi, had on Thursday hinted at the logistics company's readiness to comply with the NPA's directive on TSA, after the company lost its lucrative pilotage contract over refusal to enrol.

Since June 2016, NPA and Intels have had disagreement over the TSA, which climaxed in the former finally terminating the latter's contract on October 10. Intels, in various letters seen by PREMIUM TIMES, said it was unable to comply with the TSA policy because it had loan commitments with some commercial banks guaranteed by the deposits that NPA directed should first go to TSA.

"We want to apologise 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 by ThisDay.

A top source in the company also told PREMIUM TIMES during the weekend that negotiation was underway between Intels and NPA and the conflict between the sides could be resolved in the coming week.

The logistics is ready to comply with the TSA directive to gain back its lucrative contract, the source added, seeking not to be identified.

But Mrs. Bala-Usman told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday the NPA had not received any notice of readiness to comply with its directive from Intels.

"We are yet to receive a formal letter from them conveying their acceptance to comply with TSA," said Mrs. Bala-Usman. "So no negotiation has started."

She also disclosed to this newspaper that the NPA was yet to receive formal letter of notification on the resolution of the House of Representatives asking the agency to reverse termination of contract with Intels.

The lawmakers had on Wednesday urged the government to reverse the termination of the pilotage contract, even before an investigation.

Intels had earlier faulted the termination of the contract, shortly after NPA announced the development, saying it would be challenged in court.

Apart from the conflict over TSA, Intels also has another round of conflict with NPA over the monopoly enjoyed by the logistics company in handling oil and gas cargoes.


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