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Intels faults Atiku, denies political influence on business

Intels Nigeria Limited has said that its business has not been hindered by political influence from the Muhammadu Buhari’s government. The company made the clarification in a statement issued yesterday against the backdrop of the position of former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on his decision to divest his $60 million worth of shares in the company. Intels had on Monday confirmed severing ties with Atiku and his family after the divestment of his shares in the firm.

Atiku confirmed that he sold his interests in Intels’ parent company, Orlean Invest Holding, through a series of transactions executed through Guernsey Trust, in deals that began in December 2018 and concluded in 2020.

He, however, blamed the divestment from Intels on Buhari’s administration. Atiku accused the Federal Government of trying to destroy the company because of political differences. The former vice president stated that the divestment “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.

“There should be a marked difference between politics and business,” he noted. But Intels, yesterday, faulted Atiku’s explanation. The company’s spokesman, Tommaso Ruffinoni, said that Intels’ decisions had been devoid of political considerations as it “has always operated according to market logic.”

He said: “Intels Nigeria Limited and its parent company, Orlean Invest Holding, in relation to some statements that appeared in the press on Monday and Tuesday, categorically denies 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 on-going 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 Intels – Orlean Invest Group.”




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