Investigations carried out by Shipping Position Daily have revealed that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is yet to comply with the directives of the Presidency on the land lease deal with Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL).
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the management of NPA to comply with the Federal Government’s approval of a 25-year lease agreement with the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) after the NPA revoked the land lease agreement.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had sanctioned LADOL for allegedly violating the terms of the land lease at Takwa Bay, near Light House Beach in Lagos.
NPA had alleged that LADOL profited the deal with a third party at the expense of the Federal Government by subleasing 11.2426 hectares of land out of the total 121 hectares leased to it without recourse to NPA.
The firm was alleged to have collected $45 million (N16.2billion) from Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) for the 11.2426 hectares of land for which it paid only $524,105 (N37.73 million) to NPA.
The NPA claimed that revoking the agreement was part of the efforts to boost accountability and ensure transparency as well as boost the confidence of local and foreign investors in Nigeria’s operating environment.
However, reacting to the revocation, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Nigerian Ports Authority to comply with the federal government’s approval of the 25-year lease agreement with LADOL.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), conveyed the President’s position in a letter titled: “Re: Brief on the LADOL Free Zone Disputes and the Need for the Federal Government to Intervene Urgently,” dated June 3rd, 2020
The letter addressed to government agency read: “I wish to refer to a letter Ref No. PRES/97/HAGF/93 dated 27th May, 2020 from the State House, Abuja and to convey Mr. President’s directive as follows: That NPA complies with Mr. President’s subsisting approval for 25 years lease covering 114,552 hectares granted to Messrs. Global Resources Management Limited (GRML) in 2018.
“That all relevant agencies comply with the legal opinion attached hereto which is geared towards resolving the dispute, restoring investor confidence to the industry and bringing NPA’s actions in conformity with the extant laws and federal government’s policy on local content. Accept the assurance of my warm regards, please.”
However, two weeks after the Federal Government directives, sources at LADOL said the agency is yet to comply with the directives.
When contacted, LADOL’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye, said he was not authorised to speak on the matter, but stated that the recent press statement by the company is their stand.
The Chairman of LADOL, Chief Ladi Jadesimi, had recently in a veiled reference to NPA, urged all stakeholders to comply with the Federal Government’s final directive, geared toward resolving the dispute and restoring investors’ confidence to the industry.
He said it would also bring the Nigerian Ports Authority’s actions in conformity with the extant laws and Federal Government Policy on Local Content.
However, when contacted the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications at the NPA, Adams Jatto said he has not been briefed on the stand of the agency, but he expressed the belief that the management is working on it.
“Presently, I can’t tell you what the situation is, I believe the management is still working on it, I have not been briefed as to the stand of the management”, he told our correspondent.