Teddy Oscar, Abuja
House of Representatives’ investigative hearing on the purchase of the cars at $1.6 million (about N255 million) on Thursday revealed that the management of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA) made extra budgetary spending of its 2013 Appropriation.
NCAA also confessed that the purchase of two BMW bulletproof cars for Princess Stella Oduah, minister of aviation, was done with the permission was obtained from the office of the minister, not the National Assembly.
It was also revealed that the prices of the vehicles were inflated along the line of purchase as NCAA in its memo to the minister claimed that the vehicles are sold at N70 million each, but eventually paid a little over N127 million each for the cars.
During the hearing, Fola Akinkuotu, director, NCAA, who exonerated himself from the transaction, claimed that the purchase process started and concluded before he assumed office last August.
This left Joyce Nkemakolam, who was in acting capacity to clear the air, adding that the approval for the purchase was granted by the minister of aviation, also told the committee that NCAA, in executing the 2013 Budget, had made purchase of 54 operational vehicles whereas, the National Assembly only approved purchase of 25 operational vehicles.
“The details of the vehicles are as follows… (vehicles bought under) Metropolitan Motors Limited (are) 17 units of Toyota Corolla of N4,588,500.00 per unit price at the total sum of N78,004,500.00; 15 units of Toyota Hilux at N5,428,500.00 per unit at the total sum of N81,427,500.00; 14 units of Toyota Prado at N12,426,750.00 per unit at the total sum of N173,174,500.00; 5 units of Toyota Yaris at N7,738,500.00 per unit at the total sum of N38,692,500.00; and 1 unit of Toyota Land Cruiser at N15,839,250.00. the sum total from Metropolitan Motors came to N387,938,250.00.
“Coscharis Motors Limited BMW 760 Abbot, two in number with a unit price of N127,575,000.00, and the two came to N255,150,000.00. the grand total of the money for this project amounted to N643,088,250.00,” he said.
He added that the agency adopted a lease financing method to acquire the said vehicles, and would make the payment in 36 monthly equal instalments, which only two have been paid as at October 2013.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) washed its hands off the process of the procurement of the said vehicles.
In his submission, Ayo Adedigbe, a director at BPP, who represented Emeka Ezeh, BPP director general, told the committee that NCAA did not inform it nor sought its before the contract for the purchase of the vehicles was awarded.
Adedigbe, who denied knowledge of the transaction, claimed that NCAA did not carry BPP along during the process of contract award nor execution period, adding that NCAA did not send any letter to BPP nor did NCAA receive any certificate of no objection from BPP before the contracts for the purchase of the vehicle was awarded and executed.
In her verdict, Nkiruka Onyejiocha, chairman of the committee, re-summoned the minister of aviation, who is away from the country, to appear before it on Tuesday.