Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has clarified that he is not a beneficiary of the recent federal government decision to reinstate the boat pilotage monitoring business previously managed by Intels Nigeria Limited.
As reported by Business Day on Saturday, the federal government notified shipping companies, through a memo dated November 30, 2023, about the extension of Intels’ contract to operate in the Lagos pilotage district.
In a statement released on Sunday, Abubakar asserted that he sold his shares in Intels to Orlean Investment Group in January 2021 and has had no involvement in the company’s operations since then.
“In January 2021, I made public the sale of my shares in Integrated Logistic Services Nigeria Limited (Intels) to Orlean Investment Group, the parent company of Intels,” he said.
“The phased sale of those shares that commenced in 2018 peaked in December 2020. Intels also made public my exit from the oil and gas logistics company, meaning that a different entity now owns those shares I sold.”
Abubakar claims the allegations of his involvement in the Intels contract are false and mischievous.
“My divestment from the company that I co-founded has not been reversed,” he said.
“Consequently, I cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be a beneficiary of the reinstatement of the boat pilotage monitoring business that was taken away from Intels by the Federal Government.
“Therefore, the insinuation that I am a beneficiary of the decision to rescind the cancellation of the contract between Intels and the Federal Government is untrue and should be seen for what it is: mischief.”
In January 2021, Rotimi Amaechi, then minister of transportation, got presidential approval to restore all contracts between NPA and Intels and withdraw all matters in court to settle the disputes administratively.
President Muhammadu Buhari later reversed himself after advice from the attorney-general of the federation and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
They told the president that Intels’ contract was not canceled as alleged but had expired and its renewal was not automatic.
Buhari subsequently directed that the procurement process should be concluded.
Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, Amaechi’s successor, first tried to truncate the process by seeking to unilaterally restore the contract to Intels, before switching his attention to July Seventh Ventures Ltd — also without trying to go through due process.
The Ministry of maritime and Blue Economy will soon present the approvals to the federal Executive Council for ratification.