There was drama on Tuesday as members of the House of Representatives rejected a report by the Ad-hoc Committee on the Process that led to the termination of the contract between Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and INTELS Nigeria Limited.
Presidential candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is believed to have substatial interest in the company.
The House, which was initially ready to consider the report by the Hon. Pally Iriase-headed committee, rejected it based on alleged inconsistencies during the actual probe.
The consideration of the report which was first laid on the 12th of December, 2018 was headed by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun.
The committee had made the following recommendations in the report:
(i) that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and INTELS Nigeria Limited should sign the new Standard Operating Procedure in the Supplemental Agreement, which should be in the best interest of Nigeria;
(ii) that the Notice of Termination of Contract Agreement should be formally withdrawn since INTELS Nigeria Limited have complied with the Federal Government Policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA);
(iii) that a schedule for the repayment plan for the amortization policy should be proposed and signed by both parties within one month upon the adoption of this recommendation;
(iv)that NPA should henceforth adhere strictly to the provisions of the Nigerian Ports Authority Act in the administration and management of its operations; and
(v) that the Ad-hoc Committee and the Committee on Legislative Compliance should ensure strict implementation of the above recommendations.
While presenting the synopsis of the report, Iriase, who is also the Deputy Majority Whip of the House, stated the Ad-Hoc Committee held their Investigation through correspondence with the concerned bodies and also a Public Hearing.
The Ad-Hoc Committee ascertained the notice of termination served to INTELS was done without abiding to due process and suggested that a status quo be maintained and the notice of termination be rescinded.
But members quarreled with the recommendations saying that it appeared to cast INTELS as the victim.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority, Hadiza Balance Usman had told the lawmakers that the termination of INTELS’ contract was self-inflicted.
“INTEL refused to comply with TSA and failed to remit revenue as agreed in the newly developed Structured Operational Procedure (SOP) on 28/72percent ratio,” Usman had said.
Iriase at the time had said: “Even though, the motion necessitating the hearing was sponsored to obtain justice for INTEL, it appears it was INTEL who had shortchanged the government of Nigeria, going by facts and figures presented by the NPA”.
Speaking at the botched consideration on Tuesday, Sergious Ogun (Edo PDP) noted there were lapses in the investigation and suggested that it should be properly done.
Speaking further in a chat with reporters, the lawmaker said the House rejected the report because there was “not much detail which made members to feel that the investigation wasn’t thorough.
“And from what we heard, INTELS people didn’t even attend the investigative hearing.
“So the House ruled that the committee should go back and do a thorough job.”
Ogun wondered why the government was receiving 28 percent revenue recovery when FEC allegedly approved 50 percent.