EXCLUSIVE: Why Nigerian govt. moved against Atiku’s cash cow, Intels ~ BETA NAIJA BLOG: Breaking News, Latest News, Entertainment, Sport, Politics, Comedy and World News

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Why Nigerian govt. moved against Atiku’s cash cow, Intels

Onne port fit [Photo: intelservices.com]
Onne port fit [Photo: intelservices.com]
For the second time this year, the Nigerian government has taken decisions that may have significant impact on the finances of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
In April, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the recommendations of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, breaking the near-monopoly of Mr. Atiku’s company, Integrated Logistics Services Nigerian Limited (Intels), in the handling of oil and gas cargoes in the country.
Mr. Atiku, a former presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), co-founded Intels with Gabriel Volpi in the 1980s.
Atiku contested for the APC presidential ticket in 2014 and was seen as the biggest obstacle in stopping Mr. Buhari from clinching the party’s ticket. He, however, came a disappointing third with 954 votes behind Mr. Buhari (3430 votes), and the immediate past governor of Kano State Rabiu Kwankwanso (974 votes).
In 2015, the billionaire politician described Intels as his most successful business. Intels is Nigeria’s biggest oil and gas logistics company.
It is the operator of the Onne, Warri, Calabar and Lagos (Eko) port complexes. Its parent company, Oreant Invest, also owns luxury residential estates across the country, including Eko Energy Estate domiciled inside the Eko Atlantic City.
As the concessionaire of the Onne Free Trade Zone, Intels is exempted from the payment of all taxes, levies and rates. Since 2015, the Onne Ports has a near absolute control of oil and gas shipment into the country, a policy that other logistics companies such as Ladol and Julius Berger, were unhappy about.
In April 2015, immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan, gave a directive that gave Intels the exclusive control over all oil and gas cargoes at his terminals in Onne, Warri and Calabar.
Ladol, which felt the directive was against the concession agreement it entered with the government and therefore inimical to its interest, responded with a lawsuit against the government.
Intels versus NPA
The government’s decision to break Intels’ monopoly in the handling of oil and gas shipment comes few weeks after a disagreement between the logistics company and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over the funding of a major project the company is handling on behalf of the agency.
PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported that the NPA introduced a new sharing arrangement for revenues collected by Intels on the project. The agency also directed Intels to sweep all revenues collected through commercial banks into the relevant account in the Central Bank of Nigeria in compliance with the government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
While Intels accepted the new sharing ratio, it kicked against the direct transfer of revenue collected into the TSA, arguing that it would damage its loan repayment plan with some banks. Read more


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