Abuja - Intels Nigeria Ltd. has dismissed insinuations that it was flouting a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulation by collecting payment for its services at the ports in foreign currency.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Spokesman of the company, Isidore Sambol, and issued to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
The company said in the statement that it was operating within the law, having been exempted from the CBN "Currency Substitution and Dollarisation of the Nigerian Economy’’ regulation as contained in an initial circular of April 17, 2015.
The statement said that the company’s operations relied on the list of the ten categories of agencies exempted from the "Currency Substitution and Dollarisation of the Nigerian Economy’’ regulation as contained in a CBN circular of May 21, 2015 which provided clarifications on the April 17, 2015 document.
It quoted a CBN circular of May 21, 2015 which listed the exempted agencies to include: Federal Inland Revenue Service; Nigeria Ports Authority; Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and Nigeria Airspace Management Agency.
Others include: ``Nigeria Shippers Council; Operators in the oil and gas, including oil service companies; Operators in the Maritime and Aviation industries; licensed operators in the Export Processing and Free Trade Zones, and any other agency that may be prescribed by CBN from time to time’’.
It said the circular stated that the above-listed revenue generating agencies of the government and operators permitted by law and whose business transactions allow payments/receipts in foreign currencies are however exempted.
The statement said the circular which was signed by Tokunbo Martins, the Director of Banking Supervision, further said that the circular which was issued to serve as clarification on some of the provisions of the initial circular of April 17, 2015 on the subject matter "supersedes our earlier circular".
It said Intels Nigeria Ltd. had always complied with the rules and regulations guiding operations in the Maritime Industry both locally and internationally since it started business in Nigeria over 30 years ago.
The statement said within such period, the company had added value to the economy of the country, the lives of members of its host communities and the environment in which it operates in Rivers, Delta and Cross River, and beyond.
It also said that over 1,300 persons had received training on different kinds of skills in the past five years, courtesy of the company, and that the beneficiaries had fitted into manpower requirements in the nation’s maritime industry.
"Intels Nigeria Ltd. has also invested billions of Naira in its community development projects over the years, and this includes its contribution of one N1 billion toward the rehabilitation of a portion of the East-West road in Port Harcourt,” it said.
The statement added that it would, therefore, be mischievous for any group or individual to engage in campaign of calumny by classifying Intels Nigeria Ltd. as a company that flouted an order of the Federal Government, when it is crystal clear that it is a stickler to due process.