Intels Nigeria Limited, on Tuesday, debunked the claim by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, that the Buhari administration was hostile to the operations of the company because of political differences. The company said that opinion was strictly that of the former vice president and does not, in any way, represent the position of the company.
The former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently divested his interests in the company, in a deal that fetched him USD100 million.
The transactions were executed through Guernsey Trust, in deals that began in December 2018 and concluded in 2020.
However, Abubakar, who confirmed his divestment from the company, blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime for trying to destroy the company because of political differences.
Atiku had in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, titled ‘Atiku redirects his investment in Intels’, on Monday, said, “It assumed greater urgency in the last five years, because this Government has been preoccupied with destroying a legitimate business that was employing thousands of Nigerians because of politics.
“He has sold his shares in Intels and redirected his investment to other sectors of the economy for returns and creation of jobs. There should be a marked difference between Politics and Business.”
But the company in a statement by its spokesman, Tommaso Ruffinoni, said its decisions had been devoid of political considerations.
Intels explained that it had always operated according to market logic.
The statement said, “Intels Nigeria Limited and its parent company, Orlean Invest Holding, in relation to some statements that appeared in the press yesterday and today, categorically deny that its business has at some time been hindered by political influences from the current government.
“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.”