The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman yesterday in Lagos declared that it took some 15 gruesome months of negotiation to make the management of INTELS Nigeria Ltd see reason why it would be impossible for the Federal Government to issue them a waiver on the TSA policy .
Hadiza Usman who spoke at an interactive session with maritime journalists in Lagos said the NPA laid all its cards on the table making quite a lot of concessions to the Logistics Company. “We explained to them that failure to remit the pilotage dues to the TSA account was in total breach of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But they insisted on an upfront deduction of their 28 per cent service charges and other charges before remitting the balance to the TSA account.” According to her, “At a point they came up this argument about a bank loan which would make it impossible for them ( INTELS) to repay the loan should NPA failed in her contractual obligation to pay as at when due”
Ms Usman who did not hide her frustration with the INTELS throughout the duration of the negotiations said , “what we told them was simple, submit your invoice for the services rendered and if we fail to pay within 7 days , we would pay the penalty”. According to the NPA helmswoman, it was after all these overtures and concessions failed that we turned to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for a legal position. She explained that as it stands the INTELS/NPA pilotage agreement had seized to exist and that the Authority was in the process of hiring the services of another firm to handle the service . Hadiza Usman also took time to explain why management cancelled the zonal structure. She said under the previous zonal arrangement, port managers have had to go through the Zonal General Managers before getting the attention of Marina, a situation she explained was responsible for administrative bottlenecks hence the need to scrap it.