Intels accused of enforcing payment for services in foreign currency

…We are exempted from forex policy, says image maker

Integrated Logistics Limited, (INTELS) has been accused of collecting charges in Dollars, a practice that may have negated the federal government policy of foreign exchange restriction deliberately introduced to pump up the value of Naira.

The administration had banned transactions in the country in foreign currencies as part of the efforts to shore the value of Naira which has continued to suffer depreciation against other foreign currencies, particularly the Dollars.

Consumers of shipping services have accused Intels which provides oil and gas shipping services in Onne, Warri and Calabar ports of collecting charges in hard currency.

It would be recalled the company had been accused of monopoly by influencing relevant agencies to force oil and gas related cargo to go through its facilities.

Although, the company had denied allegation of monopoly, importers and freight forwarders had threatened to boycott the use of the company’s facilities.

The importers and freight forwarders had said they would divert such cargoes through the neighbouring ports and thereafter bring them into the country in protest.

However, Intels Public Relations Manager, Mr Isidore Sambol was quoted as confirming that the company collects its charges in foreign currency, but added that it does not reject local currency, Naira, when it is used by consumers of shipping services as a means of payment.
Sambol explained that since the company operates in a free zone, it is exempted from forex restriction.

He was quoted saying, ‘’Yes, we are exempted from the forex restriction because we operate in a free trade zone. If you conduct your investigation well, you will notice that free trade zones are not part of the policy.

‘’You should also be aware that oil and gas is an international business and there is nothing wrong if we collect international currency, mostly US dollar.’’

‘’If the clients want to pay in naira, we collect because we need tons of naira to drive our business. So the allegation that we insist of collecting only foreign currencies is not correct. We collect naira.’’

Intels is a pioneer operator in terms of oil and gas services in Onne and has been very successful.

There are at least 190 companies operating in Onne with investment valued at over USD6.0 billion.