Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has sold off his shares in Integrated Logistics Services Limited (INTELS).
This was confirmed in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, titled ‘Atiku redirects his investment in Intels’, on Monday.
Ibe explained that one of the reasons Atiku sold his shares was Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government’s alleged pre-occupation to destroy “a legitimate business”.
The statement read, “Co-founder of Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (Intels), Atiku Abubakar, has been selling his shares in Intels over the years.
“It assumed greater urgency in the last five years, because this Government has been preoccupied with destroying a legitimate business that was employing thousands of Nigerians because of politics.
“He has sold his shares in Intels and redirected his investment to other sectors of the economy for returns and creation of jobs. There should be a marked difference between Politics and Business.”
Although Mr. Abubakar’s media aide did not specify the percentage of his equity stake at INTELS, Thisday pegged his shares’ worth at over $100 million.
The newspaper reported an INTELS spokesman to have explained that the ex-vice president, who sold his shares to Orleal Investment Group received $113.1 million in three tranches.
The Federal Government had earlier directed the Nigerian Ports Authority to terminate its pilotage contract with Intels.
Citing reasons for the contract termination, the NPA alleged that Intels refused to get on the Treasury Single Account platform.
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Then, the resulting feud brought the majority shareholder in Intels, Gabrielle Volpi, to Nigeria, where he apologised to the Federal Government and pledged his firm’s commitment to transfer all the revenue collected from the boats monitoring and supervision services in Nigerian maritime waters to the TSA with the Central Bank of Nigeria, in compliance with the policy of the Federal Government.
Later in December 2017, there were reports that NPA had resolved the dispute with the logistics giant.
But in May 2019, news broke that NPA had once again cancelled the pilotage contract, citing Intels’ failure to remit $145.84m being outstanding service boat revenue generated from November 1, 2017, to October 31, 2018.
The NPA, in a letter to the logistics giant, accused it of failing to remit $55.72m, which it pledged to remit in a letter dated February 12, 2019, and $145.84m, which the NPA demanded via various letters.
In its defence, Intels reportedly denied the outstanding sum of $145.84m while adding that its pledge to pay the sum of $55.70m as revenue for the period from November 1, 2017, to March 31, 2019, was predicated on NPA’s payment of $19.67m.
NPA has, however, denied that its action was politically motivated and stemming from the feud between the presidential candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is a shareholder in Intels, and President Muhammadu Buhari.