The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Monday indicated that not only has its contract with foreign logistics providing giant, the Intels been terminated, the Authority would soon embark on a transparent process of engaging new contractors to take over the provision of boats pilotage, monitoring and supervision services hitherto provided by Intels.
The NPA Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hadiza Bala Usman indicated this in Lagos, allaying fear of jobs loss by workers within the Onne Exclusive Economic Zone, in Rivers, as she noted that the categories of those to be affected can also be re-engaged by which ever company takes over from Intels Services Ltd.
Speaking at a media parley which held at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Hadiza highlighted how she diligently pursued the Intels for 15 months, seeking for how the two parties could amicably agree on how the Constitutional demands of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which specified that Government monies be first paid into Government Accounts, before being administered could be met; and all her efforts were frustrated.
Her explanation posited that from futily inviting and intimating the foreign giant on the needful, she finally invited the official view and counsel of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) which culminated in the termination of the contract; until finally, the Intels served the Authority a seven day ultimatum.
“We have responded to their letter because they gave us an ultimatum and we have reiterated that we stand by the advice of the AGF. We will follow a transparent process to ensure that the services being handled by Intels is handed over to another contractor,” she said.
Hadiza maintained that the only problem had been with the Intels’ refusal to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on TEA.
“This discussion with intels on the need to comply with the TSA started about 15 months ago, from June 2016 to date. Letters had been written, meetings held regarding for Intels to comply, but intels had continuously refused to comply.
“They refused to make payments to the NPA account. They maintained that payments for pilotage services must come to their coffers. While it is stated in the constitution that all revenues due to the Federal Government should go to the consolidated revenue account of the FG, Intels want to collect monies, deduct what they want and give government the balance. But that is not how it works. That structure cannot sustain government’s implementation of the TSA,” the NPA highlighted.
Speaking further, she recalled how she pleaded with the foreign giant, to agree to an arrangement where a new account, jointly verifiable, but from which Intels could not independently withdraw from could be created, with a guarantee for a weekly remittances of monies due to Intels would be paid, with a caveat that where a delay occurs, the Authority would pay for such delays with interest, but the company still refused to bulge.
Responding to a question, Hadiza stated that the Authority would not be interested in creating a holding bay, but would be actively interested in supporting a private initiative towards creating such.
“The NPA will not be constructing any holding bays or trailer garage. The NPA will only be granting licences for operators of holding bays to use a call-up system with the NPA.
“So, we are calling on private sector to develop holding bays and trailer garages, and obtain their license from us to enable the trucks that are parked on the road to have access of the location”, while stressing that the decision to scrap the tonal structure arrangement was to remove bureaucracy and quicken decision making processes.