Judging from what is currently happening, it appears that only Intels among all the organizations working in Nigeria’s maritime sector has been found wanting. All the other actors, players, stakeholders and companies are without blemish.
In the cancellation of boat pilotage, there is no indication that Intels has short changed the Federal Government. The only complaint is that the company is not up-to-date in its remittances and this has to do with the enforcement of TSA which was not part of the agreement signed with the Federal Government in respect of the boat pilotage service agreement.
At the time the government pronounced the cancellation, there was no immediate alternative to services offered by Intels. The NPA only said that Intels has been given three months to end its pilotage service. There is no indication of who will replace the company and what will happen to the thousands of Intels staff who will lose their jobs.
A government that is looking for foreign and local investors, talking about the ease of doing business in Nigeria, trying to concession operations at the airports, trying to create jobs and looking for $5.5 billion loan is expected to be more strategic in handling an investor who has spent over three decades operating in Nigeria’s hostile business environment
In as much as previous governments have a record of killing and frustrating worthy investments and good ideas with poor policies and actions, it will not be wise for the present administration which preaches good governance, anti-corruption, ease of doing business, economic growth and job creation to sing a discordant tune with the way it is desperately seeking for opportunities to destroy Intels.
Foreign creditors, investors, donors and indeed, Nigerians are watching. How the whole drama plays out will determine the level of investors’ and international donor agencies confidence Nigeria will enjoy in the eyes of the world and in the years ahead.
Dr. Emenena Bright,
Warri, Delta state