Intels writes NPA, pledges commitment to TSA

Embattled logistics company, Intels Nigeria Company, has reportedly written to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), apologising and committing to the government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.

According to a report by Premium Times, this came three weeks before the Federal Government ordered expatriates to vacate the country.

Highlights of the report:

In the Intels’ letter of October 25, a director, Silvano Bellinato, an Italian, conveyed the apologies of the company’s chief executive, Gabrielle Volpi, also an Italian, to the NPA’s Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, and stated readiness to comply with the TSA policy.

Our Chairman, Mr Gabrielle Volpi, has apologised for the miscommunication and misunderstanding so far – given the complexity of the matter pertaining to, from one side, the important and continuing role played by the Intels Group through the years in the service of the Nigerian Ports Authority and, on the other hand, the necessity for the NPA to have all the money related to the boat service activity conveyed to into the Treasury Single Account, TSA,” wrote Mr Bellinato.

Since June 2016, NPA and Intels have had a disagreement over the TSA, which climaxed in the former finally terminating the latter’s contract on October 10.

Intels, in various letters, said it was unable to comply with the TSA policy because it had loan commitments with some commercial banks guaranteed by the deposits that NPA directed should first go to TSA.

Before the dispute and the eventual contract termination, Intels held the concession to collect revenue on behalf of the NPA.

But officials said the new management of NPA under Mrs Bala-Usman insisted on TSA compliance to ensure transparency so that the authority knows what actually comes in as revenue before sharing among parties based on the agreed-upon terms.

The authority expressed fears that the company could under-declare revenue collection before effecting payment to NPA, hence, the demand that all revenues first to go into TSA before sharing.

However, it is clear Intels is ready to salvage its fortunes, heavily dependent on the contracts with the NPA in its latest letter signed off by Mr Bellinato.

The letter noted that the company is now ready to abide by the TSA directive.

However, the company sought the cooperation of the NPA to ensure its share of the revenues, “first conveyed into the TSA” is paid to the company in good time to avoid the possibility of crisis with its bankers.

Consequently,” continued director Bellinato after the apologies, “without prejudice to our signed agreements, Mr. Volpi, on behalf of our board, has directed we pay all proceeds relating to the pilotage services into the TSA held in the Central Bank of Nigeria as you have directed, while the NPA will then pay all the receipts due and payable to our company within seven working days -as you have promised, on the back of an irrevocable payment standing order to be issued by the CBN to give comfort to our bankers who have financed the infrastructure we continue to provide to the NPA.”

With the expression of readiness, Intels asked that an agreement is signed between its representatives and the NPA’s with “the aim to achieve mutual business satisfaction” and assurance of getting what is due to the company is paid in a good time after the TSA with the CBN is credited.

We believe that an irrevocable confirmation of payment of the Central Bank of Nigeria serves the purpose and adequately safeguards the demands of our bankers and auditors, in order to meet mutual interests and requirements,” the letter added.

But despite the letter of commitment, it does not appear authorities are still disposed to continue doing business with Intels, co-founded by former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar.

At least, after expression of readiness to comply with the government’s directive, its operational licence under the OGFZA law was withdrawn and consequently, the NIS asked its expatriate workers to leave.

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