Buhari overrules NPA  over land lease tussle with LADOL

Peter Olaniyi

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to comply with the approval of a 25-year lease agreement with the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (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, that was sighted by our correspondent.

The letter addressed to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). reads:

“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.”

Recall that NPA had sanctioned LADOL for allegedly violating the terms of the land lease at Tarkwa Bay, near Light House Beach in Lagos.

 The agency revoked the lease via a letter dated November 14, 2019, and addressed to the Managing Director of GRML, the parent company of LADOL.

The letter, was  signed by NPA’s General Manager in charge of Land and Asset Administration, Mr. Yusuf Ahmed, had reminded LADOL that, “Clause 4.5 (a) of the agreement prohibits the lessee (LADOL) from subletting any part of the premises without written approval of the lessor (NPA) and stipulates that any contravention ‘shall result in the automatic cancellation of this lease.”

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