The commercial face-off between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Port Harcourt based oil and gas giant, Integrated Logistics Services Limited (Intels Nigeria Limited) has taken a new twist, as Intels has fired itsrecently head-hunted Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Mr. Patrick Bird. A management staff of Intels, who demanded anonymity confirmed that Mr. Bird has been relieved of his duty and so left the system recently.
Mr.Bird’s sack is not unconnected with the blistering indebtedness of Intels to NPA, which has been discussed and defied resolution at both ministerial and National Assembly levels. But the extent to which Bird’s role at the development precipitated his sack was not disclosed as at press time.
The surprise at this development however was that the management of Intels made concerted efforts to keep the information away from the public, to the extent that there were official denials by their ‘spokespersons’ and allegations that the information was being propelled for publication by their arch business competitor, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL). Mr. Bird joined the services of Intels as CCO in September, 2016 from APM Terminals Limited, Apapa, where he worked last as General Manager, Infrastructure Investments.
His brief at Intels was to, among other things, oversee a commercial and governmentrelations team of 120 people responsible for topline revenue of the business. He was alleged to have also facilitated the recruitment of a team of “warriors” to fight competitors and put up robust resistance to government policies.
Intels has over the years sought the monopoly of oil and gas related cargo, a development that has pitched it against other concessionaires in the port and oil and gas industries. It has fought many battles of monopoly with LADOL, Port and the Terminals Limited (PTOL), Snake Island Integrated Free Zone, among others. It has been accusedof making frantic efforts to ensure that its proposed bill to amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority (OGEFZA) Act of 1996 is doctored to reflect its monopolistic aspirations, which has been said willgrossly undermine the integrity of the National Assembly.
Intels, which is indebted to NPA to the tune of over N4billion had written to the Senate Committeeon Marine Transport, claiming that NPA was indebted to it. On investigation, it was discovered that Intels was instead owing NPA.
A letter of information that emanated from NPA at the behest of the Senate Committee Chairman on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed Yarima, stated, “it is importantto state categorically that Nigerian Ports Authority is not in any way indebtedto INTELS Nigeria Limited in the sum of 840 US Dollars as alleged in yourletter under reference based on information provided by INTELS to your goodself”.
According to the letter, Intels collected over $1billion revenue from service boats between 2010 and December, 31, 2016 ;$1.2 billion and another $41million within the same period, all from rents, lease and throughput fees.“At Onne and Warri ports, Intels has over $1 million to pay NPA for lease and throughput fees and N3,343,147,886 for rent at Onne Port. This aggregated is put at N4billion. However, with more details on the lingering debt problem in the letter, the management of Intels told MMS Plus that the matter was being resolved by the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi as several meeting had been held to reconcile the accounts, but would not say in whose favour the reconciliation was tilting.
Intels has taken on many battles over the years in business at but one battle that is getting messy is that with LADOL.
Watch out next week.