Friday, December 3, 2021

Atiku To Walk Out Of Intels, Alleges Buhari Hostile To The Firm

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said he has been selling his shares in Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (Intels), which he co-founded with late Shehu Yar’Adua and Italian-Nigerian Gabriele Volpi.

Although Atiku did not specify the number of shares sold, he said he has been redirecting the proceeds into other businesses.

He accused the Buhari administration of trying to destroy the company, because of political differences.

“Yes, he has sold his shares in Intels and redirected his investment to other sectors of the economy for returns and creation of jobs”, said Paul Ibe, his media adviser.

The share sales assumed greater urgency in the last five years, a period which coincides with Buhari’s ascension since May 2015.

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“This Government has been preoccupied with destroying a legitimate business that was employing thousands of Nigerians because of politics”, Atiku said.

“There should be a marked difference between Politics and Business”, he said.

ThisDay however reported that Atiku sold his shares for $100m, in three tranches to Orleal Investment Group, the parents company of Intels.

Intels spokesman, Mr. Tommaso Ruffinoni, said Atiku exited the company with his family as at December last year.

The former vice president was said to have sold his interests through a series of transactions executed by his family Guernsey Trust, in deals that began in December 2018 and concluded last year.

In 2017, the Buhari government moved to break the monopoly of the company in piloting oil ships in and out of Nigerian waters.

It had then carried out the service for more than 17 years, on behalf of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

In April of 2017, Buhari approved the recommendations of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to break the monopoly of Intels in the handling of oil and gas cargoes.

In September 27, Malami, wrote to the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, directing her to terminate the boats pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement with Intels.

He described the contract illegal. He also said the revenue side of it, in which Intels collected money on behalf of government also contradicted the Treasury Single Account policy of government.

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The pilotage contract was terminated.

The NPA in August 2020, also terminated a boat operation contract with Intels.

The NPA had accused Intels of owing it about $140m in non-remittance of revenue. Intels counter-claimed it is being owed $750million.

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