The Nigerian Ports Authority has come out with explanations regarding the suspension of its pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement with maritime logistics firm, Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, Intels.
The Federal Government had asked the NPA to void the boats pilotage agreement it had with Intels.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had explained that the contract was void from the beginning and was reported to have relayed the government’s decision to the Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman, in a letter dated September 27.
The NPA said it relied on the advice of the AGF in arriving at the decision to terminate the contract.
NPA’s statement was signed by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, where it maintained that it sought the legal advice after more than one year of attempts to get Intels to comply with the directive on the TSA.
The statement said, “The first of such correspondence was through a letter written by the former Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Olumide Oduntan, on June 28, 2016 directing the company to pay all revenues collected on behalf of the NPA into the TSA sub account at the CBN.
“All further attempts by the Authority to get the company to obey this directive were met with various excuses until the Authority wrote to seek the AGF’s legal advice on how to proceed with the NPA/ Intels relationship in a letter dated May 31, 2017.”
The NPA explained further that the legal advice contained in a September 27, 2017 letter addressed to Usman, by Malami, expressly stated that the agreement for the monitoring and supervision of pilotage districts in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria permits Intels to receive revenue generated in each pilotage district from service boat operations.
It said that this was in consideration for 28 per cent of total revenue as commission to Intels was void, “being a contract ex facie illegal as formed for permitting Intels to receive Federal Government revenue.”
The NPA said that this was “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.”