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Importers Applaud Moves To Resolve INTELS/NPA Dispute

BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos – 

The Nigerian Importers Integrity Association (NIIA) has commended the Chairman of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Gabriele Volpi, for intervening in the dispute between his company and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over remittances into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

While  the NPA had insisted that all funds collected on its pilotage agency agreement be remitted into the account, INTELS had argued that such directive was in violation of the terms of its contract. The stalemate led NPA to terminate the 10-year pilotage agreement contract with INTELS.

The cancellation of the contract various reactions from different segments of the Nigerian society. However, the INTELS Chairman, who had been out of the country for a while flew in last week and intervened in the face-off. Volpi, who described INTELS as a committed development partner to Nigeria, said he would do everything possible to ensure amicable resolution of the crisis.

Volpi said, “We intend to comply with the directive of government and transfer all the revenue to the TSA because we are a law-abiding company.” He also allayed fears that the company would pull out its investment in the Badagry deep seaport project.

“We are committed to cooperating with the government and NPA in the development of Nigeria’s maritime sector and this includes the Badagry deep seaport. The Badagry deep seaport is a massive undertaking which will cost billions of dollars and will be the biggest in Africa and would turn Nigeria into a regional hub for ships bringing goods to the continent.

“It will also help to move a lot of shipping activities at the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports and help to decongest Apapa, so we are serious about our investments in Nigeria,” he said. Reacting to the development, NIIA President, Godwin Onyekachi, commended Mr. Volpi for the peace move.

Onyekachi said Mr. Volpi’s intervention “is a mark of good leadership. It will save a lot of jobs and restore investor confidence in Nigeria. Disputes are bound to arise in commercial transactions of this nature ad it is the responsibility of concerned parties to shift grounds so as to arrive at an amicable resolution,” he said.

Speaking separately, a development Economist, Dr. Austin Nweze and leading financial analyst, Dr. Ken Igboanugo said the lingering NPA-INTELS face-off was a bad signal to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

According to Nweze, “The government decision will send wrong signal to foreign investors who want to invest or those who would have wanted to do more than they have done because they know government can wake up one day to terminate the contract without recourse to the law and agreement of the contract.

“Government is gradually destroying the economy with every of its action. International community take note of all contractual action and the irony is that we travel abroad asking investors to come and invest but what will they invest for when simple agreement cannot be adhered to.” On his part, Dr. Igboanugo, said NPA should take all necessary steps to resolve the dispute amicably in order to encourage investment in the country.

The post Importers Applaud Moves To Resolve INTELS/NPA Dispute appeared first on leadership.ng.

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