Intels’ unwavering commitment to nigeria – thisdaylive o gascon

In 2006, the federal government awarded INTELS Nigeria Limited concession to operate Terminal A (Federal Ocean Terminal) and Terminal B (Federal Lighter Terminal) at the Onne Port Complex, which houses the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone. It also operates terminals in Warri, Calabar and Apapa ports. Before the concession policy that has turned the maritime industry around, INTELS has over the years invested substantially in Nigeria with the aim of making the country the leading player in the global maritime space.

Established in 1982 at the Onne Port Complex, INTELS, the oil and gas logistics services giant has become a major participant in the development of the Oil and Gas Free Zone (OGFZ) located in the area. It operates the Onne, Warri and Calabar Oil and Gas Free Zones strategically located in the heart of the Niger Delta to offer the best platform for the provision of logistics solutions to the oil and gas industry.

The company provides agency services, cargo services, port management and support services to its clients and also manages its clients’ operations in the areas of pipe racks, stacking areas, ware-housing, enclosed areas, jetties, offices, water tanks, fuel storages, generators, compressors, and other services.

All that is history now as the company has complied with the decision of the federal government that all revenue must be pay into the TSA. In February this year, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) announced the payment of $42.6 million (N13.2 billion) by INTELS into the TSA. The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman disclosed this while addressing members of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee probing into the matter, saying that the company, after receiving termination notice from the agency, wrote to apologise for not complying with TSA and the new sharing formula.

She said, according to NPA’s calculation of $4 million per month as government’s share, based on the previous agreement, what accrued to NPA would be $48 million. Bala-Usman said NPA had two layers of relationship with INTELS namely management agency where it collects revenues on behalf of NPA and keeps 28 percent and port infrastructure development on the basis of which INTELS constructed and manages the Onne Port in Rivers State.

That is not all, INTELS drives its integrated logistics vision in cooperation with the respective government authorities, national oil companies, major oil producing companies and related services companies. With additional support from African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) and African Institute of Petroleum(AIP), a common philosophy has evolved for managing oil and gas activities on a regional basis.

“In over 30 years, we have added substantial value to the Nigerian oil and gas service industry and the operators have found our services strategic to their operations. In the maritime sector, INTELS’ operation as a port infrastructure developer and maritime service provider reinvigorated and brought the needed momentum and life to Nigerian ports and the maritime industry with improved capacity to serve the nation. These efforts by INTELS have in turn boosted earnings and contributions by these sectors to the Nigerian economy while generating much-needed employment for Nigerians.

“To achieve our vision of providing an integrated, efficient, reliable and cost-effective logistics solution to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, we introduced an innovative one-stop-shop oil service centre concept designed to meet the growing specialized needs of oil producing companies in one location to provide an integrated, efficient, reliable and cost effective logistics solution to operators in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. This innovative concept has enhanced service delivery and turnaround time for oil and gas industry projects and thus endeared INTELS to its partners,” said a stakeholder.

According to her, “I don’t think they (INTELS) should shy away from competing with other terminals. They should welcome the fact that having really established that business, they should be able to compete and get all the cargo to themselves, and, indeed, if you have been operating and doing this service for years and now someone else is coming, you should have a favorable edge.”

Also the Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside lauded INTELS Nigeria Limited for its investments and for full compliance with provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and the Nigerian Local Content Law.

“It takes faith to have this kind of investment. You believe you can invest in Nigeria, grow with Nigeria, prosper with Nigeria, face challenges with Nigeria, and you have done that for 30 years and still counting. You deserve nothing but commendation,” Dakuku said.

“Ours is safety administration. And safety is our number one priority. Whether you are in core shipping or shipping related functions, our emphasis is to make you workplace safety as your number one priority. If it will cost lives, it is not worth doing. The ISPS code as you know, is an international rule. It is not just a Nigerian rule.

“Before now we were assessed by the US Coast Guard, as being 13 per cent compliant. But because of the cooperation we enjoy from INTELS and other terminal operators, at the last rating, the US Coast Guard rated us above 80 percent compliance. In addition to being compliant to the ISPS code, I am also impressed from the reports I have read about your compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act. I believe that is the way for sustainable businesses to go.

“It is not enough that we make profit for our shareholders, that is not enough to make our firms sustainable; what can make our firms sustainable is collaboration with our communities. Without that collaboration, you will not have the requisite social license to operate. You could just operate for a season, but when our interest is intertwined with that of the community, we can run sustainable business because we will of course have the social license to operate,” he said.

Speaking further, he said: “Whatever happens to INTELS today happens to Onne community. Their existence will be threatened and when INTELS flourishes, the Onne Community will flourish and by extension Nigeria. And so I am happy that you are compliant with the Local Content Act.”

He said the present administration in the country believed in the rule of law, consistency and the sanctity of the contractual relationships or agreements, “and so whatever relationships or agreements that you have with us will be respected and that I can confirm to you and so I have absolutely no doubt that if all grey areas are looked at, eventually we will all be on the same page and you continue to do business.”

Speaking in Onne on the sidelines of the “Oil And Gas Free Zones Stakeholders Forum” organised by the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Bird said the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone creates the environment necessary to support Nigeria’s economic and industrial development.

According to Bird, INTELS, along with the government of Nigeria, developed the zone to provide an oil service centre for onshore and offshore operations while providing the West African and greater sub-Saharan oil and gas industry easy access and duty-free distribution facilities.

The INTELS CCO enumerated some of the benefits of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, which houses 170 companies, to include 100 per cent repatriation of capital investment, full remittance of profits and dividends, zero Customs tariffs on exports and non-requirement of import or export licenses.

“The Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone helps Nigeria maximise its natural resources to attract foreign investments and create employment, enhance the welfare of the people, aid technology transfer and the overall economic development of the country,” he said.