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NPA insists it acted constitutionally by exiting its contract with INTELS



In reaction to questions raised by the general public on the threat by Intels Nigeria Limited, to fight the recent termination of its boats pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Friday said that it acted constitutionally.

A statement signed by Abdullahi Goje, general manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications of NPA said that the NPA relied on the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, in arriving at the decision to terminate the contract.

According to Goje, this legal advice was sought after more than one year of attempts to get Intels to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

He said that the first of such correspondence was through a letter written by Olumide Oduntan, former executive director, Finance and Administration of NPA, dated June 28, 2016, which directed Intels to pay all revenues collected on behalf of the NPA into the TSA sub account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The statement reads: “All further attempts by the Authority to get the company obey this directive was 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 legal advice contained in a September 27, 2017 letter addressed to Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the NPA by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) expressly stated as follows :

“For the avoidance of doubt, the agreement for the monitoring and supervision of pilotage districts in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria on terms inter alia that permits Intels to receive revenue generated in each pilotage district from service boat operations in consideration for 28 percent of total revenue as commission to Intels is void, being a contract ex facie illegal as formed for permitting Intels to receive federal government revenue 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.

“In the premise of the above, the conflict between the agreement and the TSA policy presents a force majeure event under the agreement, and NPA should forthwith commence the process of issuing the relevant notices to Intels exiting the agreement which indeed was void ab initio.”

As a responsible agency of the Federal Government, the Authority, therefore proceeded to act as advised, which is to terminate the contract forthwith.

“The Authority has taken note of threats by Intels to withdraw its investment plans in Nigeria and must point that business thrives in favour of everyone involved only when the laws of the country of operation are adhered to,” the statement reads.

“No organisation is above the Nigerian constitution and it is only when all corporate entities obey the laws of the country that everyone benefits. There must be a level playing field for all players in the sector and this is the commitment of the Authority.

However, the Authority respects the right of Intels and all other corporate entities in Nigeria to explore opportunities presented by the courts to enforce their rights in as much as the Authority is confident of the correctness of the step that it has taken.

 

AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE

The post NPA insists it acted constitutionally by exiting its contract with INTELS appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust.

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This post was syndicated from BusinessDay : News you can trust. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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