The Nigerian Ports Authority said that it suspended its pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement with maritime logistics firm, Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited because the firm failed to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on the Treasury Single Account.
It could be recalled that 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, said the contract was void ab initio and was reported to have relayed the government’s decision to the Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman, in a letter dated September 27.
Following the termination order, the logistics company vowed to fight the case in court.
The NPA in a statement, on Friday, explained that it relied on the advice of the AGF in arriving at the decision to terminate the contract.
In the statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, NPA stated that it sought the legal advice after more than one year of attempts to get Intels to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on the TSA.
The statement read in part, “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.”
According to NPA, 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.”