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Atiku Abubakar

Integrated Logistics Services Limited (Intels) has said its business is not affected by political influences from the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as claimed by former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku, co-founder of the firm had on Monday, announced that he had sold off his shares, alleging that he was forced to divest his shares in the company because the Buhari administration has been “preoccupied with destroying” it since 2015.

But in a statement by Tommaso Ruffinoni, its spokesman, Intels said the firm and Orlean Invest Holding, its parent company, have always operated according to market logic.

The company said the “ongoing contradictions are part of a natural commercial divergence, which will hopefully be resolved”.

The company said Atiku’s decision to sell off his shares was based on economic reasons and irreconcilable differences with its new governance structure.

“Intels Nigeria Limited and with it its parent company Orlean Invest Holding in relation to some statements that appeared in the press yesterday and today, categorically denies that its business has at some time been hindered by political influences from the current government,” it said.

“The company has always operated according to market logic, thanks to its history and commitment to the development of the Nigerian economy in the oil and gas logistics sector. The ongoing contradictions are part of a natural commercial divergence, which will hopefully be resolved, as in the past, by a new approach, in the interest of all the parties, also according to the social role that Intels plays in the country.

“The severance from the world of Atiku Abubakar was an economic decision, in the exclusive interest of the company, and to irreconcilable strategic differences with the new governance structure of the Intels – Orlean Invest Group.”

In 2017, the federal government terminated the boats pilotage agreement it signed with the company, after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), said it violated the constitution.

The company was also accused of not paying taxes in 2017 — the same year NPA accused it of failing to remit an outstanding $48 million.

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