National Assembly Puts Buhari And His Cabals To Shame, Favours Atiku
It was dramatic incident in the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly, as the House ordered the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to return to “status quo ante”, by reversing the termination of the contract between the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, and Integrated Logistics Services, INTELS.
Leading the debate on the motion, Hon Diri Douye (PDP, Bayelsa), noted that Atiku’s INTELS is responsible for the provision of logistics and facilities in the maritime sector of the country, based on the boat pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement, whereby INTELS collects revenue on behalf of the NPA.
He told the House that the agreement included the construction and operation of Apapa, Warri, Federal Ocean Terminal Port, and Onne in Port Harcourt, which INTELS spent $900 million.
According to him, INTELS secured a loan to finance the construction and operation of the Apapa, Warri, and Port Harcourt terminals, adding that, “INTELS has carried out the services for 17 years, since the agreement was signed between NPA and INTELS in 2000.”
Douye called on the House to look at the “implications of the termination of the contract on 7,000 Nigerians and their dependents, who are employees of INTELS Nigeria Limited, since the inception of its services to NPA at the maritime sector.”
He expressed worry that the Federal Government has sealed all the terminals, as a result of the termination of the contract without due process of consultation with INTELS, before the decision to seal the terminals.
He said there was need to ascertain the process of termination of contracts between NPA and INTELS.
Supporting the motion, Hon. Ekpo Attah (PDP, Akwa Ibom), said it was important to investigate the matter, arguing that “status quo” should be maintained.
“INTELS employs a lot of people. I submit that this motion is very pertinent, and INTELS should be returned to status quo”, he said.
Also supporting the motion, Hon. Rita Orji (PDP, Lagos), said there is the need to probe the matter, to provide a fair hearing and hear both sides.
“If you want to terminate a contract, there are ways of going about it. I am supporting the investigation – we are talking about 7,000 workers, and we complain about unemployment.
“Do we have a Nigerian company that is ready to take over what INTELS is doing? We should hear both sides, so that there will be a fair hearing on both sides.”
Hon. Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo), in his submission, said INTELS is one of the highest employers of labour in the country, and anything that affects it should not be taken lightly.
Before ruling on the motion, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the session, cleared the air on the issue of monopoly, saying that “there is no country where monopoly or dominance of doing business is an offence.”
According to Dogara, “some businesses are better done with a monopoly. But it is an only abuse of the dominance position that is an offence. There are so many monopolies in Nigeria. For example, DSTV is there.”
When the motion was eventually put to vote, the ‘ayes’ overwhelmed the ‘nays’.