Gabriele Volpi, founder of Intels, has apologised to the federal government over the dispute that resulted in the termination of his company’s pilotage agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The agreement had allowed Intels to receive revenue on behalf of NPA for seven years.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, on September 27 directed Hadiza Bala Usman, NPA managing director, to terminate the pilotage contract, saying it was illegal ab initio.
Malami said it was in contravention of the constitution and that the company failed to comply with the treasury single account (TSA) policy of the government.
Reacting to the incident, Volip said Intels will “comply with the directive of government” and transfer all the revenue collected from the boats monitoring and supervision services in Nigerian maritime waters to the TSA.
“We want to apologise to the federal government and NPA over this disagreement with Intels. I was not personally involved in the negotiations with NPA, but we apologise for what has happened,” Volpi told THISDAY.
“We intend to comply with the directive of government and transfer all the revenue to the TSA because we are a law-abiding company.
Furthermore, Volip said Intels remained committed to the development of the Badagry deep seaport.
“We are committed to co-operating with the government and NPA in the development of Nigeria’s maritime sector and this includes the Badagry deep seaport,” he said.
“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.”
Atiku Abubakar, ex-Vice President, is the co-founder of the company.
A week after the pilotage agreement with NPA was terminated, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accused Intels of not paying taxes.