INTELS Nigeria Limited has flayed the decategorisation of port terminals by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
In a statement, the company said the step is not in the nation’s best interest and will result in huge revenue loss to the Federal Government.
In a Witness Statement on Oath filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja in a case instituted by the company against NPA and four others, a Senior Legal Manager of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Dominic Onwuchekwa, stated that the proposed de-categorisation of the terminals will not only jeopardise the prospect of the plaintiff recovering its investments under the concession agreement signed with the Federal Government, but that it will also undermine the commitments made to its lenders.
“In addition, the de-categorization will lead to a situation whereby all terminals will charge the lower fee of $1.2 per ton (even for oil and gas cargoes for which $5.83 per ton should be paid) in order to attract patronage from port users, but on the other hand short-changing the government itself and the people of Nigeria,” Onwuchekwa stated in the Witness Statement on Oath.
He further averred that in discharging its obligations in accordance with the terms and conditions of the various Lease Agreements (including the Concession) with the Federal Government, INTELS expended huge sums of money in upgrading port facilities and building infrastructure as well as developing specialized oil and gas designated terminals based on the need and requirements of the oil and gas industry worldwide.
“Conservatively, the plaintiff has, thus far, expended over $2 billion out of its own resources without amortisation in various projects and has budgeted additional $5 billion in phased port terminals development and infrastructural renewal,” he stated.
He said the huge investment by INTELS in five concessioned port terminals across the country were made in response to the Federal Government’s quest and demand for investment in port infrastructure development in Nigeria.
“In addition to the above, the plaintiff had also expended these huge expenses because it had entered into and executed five numbers. Lease Agreements on the Concessioned Port Terminals which lifespan were 25 years with option of renewal for a further term on each terminal,” Onwuchekwa stated.