N255m Scandal: Questions House of Reps Committee Failed To Ask Minister Stella Oduah

N255m Scandal: Questions House of Reps Committee Failed To Ask Minister Stella Oduah


The investigative hearing conducted by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation leaves a lot of unasked and unanswered questions in its trail, suggesting that the lawmakers were all air and no substance.

The questions below could perhaps have helped throw more light on the controversy.

1. How could a financing deal to the tune of N643 million between a profit-driven bank and a government agency be “mere understanding and not an obligation” as the minister claimed, requiring any party to walk off at any time, when the bank had already provided funding. More so since First Bank in its earlier presentation had insisted the financing was a loan.

2. The minister said the repayment by NCAA to First Bank stretches through three years under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework; and the obligation for 2013 is N100 million, with N16 million carried forward( since monthly repayment is N23 million). At the purported N100 million for this year, the minister insisted she was within her right approving the contract without recourse to FEC.

But total servicing for three years amounts to N828 million. Given that 2013 has only taken care of N100 million, how will the balance N728 million car spending be addressed in two years? Will that not amount to forcing the National Assembly, for instance, to appropriate an average of N364 million yearly, for a car project that should go before the FEC, but which had already been approved by the minister?

3. And since the National Assembly appropriated N240 million for cars this year, no lawmaker asked the minister whether the NCAA will return the balance of N140 million since it will spend only N100 million for 2013.

4. Given that the NCAA had earlier advanced some of the arguments by the minister (except the “do the needful” argument), why did the House committee reject that same claim only to agree with the minister.

5. Why was the minister’s rebuttal about her name not being on the documents for the car not challenged since that claim only compares to expecting a receipt or invoice when a bribe is paid.

6. Why did the Reps ignore the claim by the minister that luxury armoured cars could be categorized under “security and safety vehicles” listed in the budget for use as inspection cars, for monitoring perimeter fence.

7. Why should the minister refuse to take responsibility of a breach in her ministry when she is the head?

8. Why did the minister fail to compel the NCAA to advertise the procurement of the cars as required by the Public Procurement Act? Why was it necessary to do selective tendering in that case?

9. The NCAA head, Fola Akinkuotu, clearly said the cars were for the minister and visiting foreign dignitaries. So, why did the minister tried to say she had nothing to do with the cars?

10. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confessed buying two armoured cars to the minister. Why does Mrs Oduah has a fetish for armoured cars?

Questions the lawmakers also missed extracting answers for, from other involved parties

1. The Chief Executive of Coscharis, Cosmas Maduka, claimed the National Security Adviser’s office called him up to review the cost of the armoured cars since, according to him, the NSA officials knew the cost of the cars, and it was clear Coscharis had underquoted. If the NSA’s office had been that meticulous, why did the office not establish the actual beneficiary of the cars?

2. Why did the NSA office in the first place ask for the “mistaken” quotation to be corrected?

3. How did Customs arrive at its duty of only N10.1 million naira, considering how much it charges private citizens for similar imports?

4. It is now clear three, not two, armoured cars were imported (although the lawmakers also lightly pressed this point). Was the third car still meant for the NCAA or the minister?

5. Why did Lagos state government agree to Coscharis’ condition that it helps in securing waiver for it when the government knew it had no need for armoured cars at the sports festival.

-Premium Times

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The investigative hearing conducted by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation leaves a lot of unasked and unanswered questions in its trail, suggesting that the lawmakers were all air and no substance.

The questions below could perhaps have helped throw more light on the controversy.

1. How could a financing deal to the tune of N643 million between a profit-driven bank and a government agency be “mere understanding and not an obligation” as the minister claimed, requiring any party to walk off at any time, when the bank had already provided funding. More so since First Bank in its earlier presentation had insisted the financing was a loan.

2. The minister said the repayment by NCAA to First Bank stretches through three years under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework; and the obligation for 2013 is N100 million, with N16 million carried forward( since monthly repayment is N23 million). At the purported N100 million for this year, the minister insisted she was within her right approving the contract without recourse to FEC.

But total servicing for three years amounts to N828 million. Given that 2013 has only taken care of N100 million, how will the balance N728 million car spending be addressed in two years? Will that not amount to forcing the National Assembly, for instance, to appropriate an average of N364 million yearly, for a car project that should go before the FEC, but which had already been approved by the minister?

3. And since the National Assembly appropriated N240 million for cars this year, no lawmaker asked the minister whether the NCAA will return the balance of N140 million since it will spend only N100 million for 2013.

4. Given that the NCAA had earlier advanced some of the arguments by the minister (except the “do the needful” argument), why did the House committee reject that same claim only to agree with the minister.

5. Why was the minister’s rebuttal about her name not being on the documents for the car not challenged since that claim only compares to expecting a receipt or invoice when a bribe is paid.

6. Why did the Reps ignore the claim by the minister that luxury armoured cars could be categorized under “security and safety vehicles” listed in the budget for use as inspection cars, for monitoring perimeter fence.

7. Why should the minister refuse to take responsibility of a breach in her ministry when she is the head?

8. Why did the minister fail to compel the NCAA to advertise the procurement of the cars as required by the Public Procurement Act? Why was it necessary to do selective tendering in that case?

9. The NCAA head, Fola Akinkuotu, clearly said the cars were for the minister and visiting foreign dignitaries. So, why did the minister tried to say she had nothing to do with the cars?

10. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confessed buying two armoured cars to the minister. Why does Mrs Oduah has a fetish for armoured cars?

Questions the lawmakers also missed extracting answers for, from other involved parties

1. The Chief Executive of Coscharis, Cosmas Maduka, claimed the National Security Adviser’s office called him up to review the cost of the armoured cars since, according to him, the NSA officials knew the cost of the cars, and it was clear Coscharis had underquoted. If the NSA’s office had been that meticulous, why did the office not establish the actual beneficiary of the cars?

2. Why did the NSA office in the first place ask for the “mistaken” quotation to be corrected?

3. How did Customs arrive at its duty of only N10.1 million naira, considering how much it charges private citizens for similar imports?

4. It is now clear three, not two, armoured cars were imported (although the lawmakers also lightly pressed this point). Was the third car still meant for the NCAA or the minister?

5. Why did Lagos state government agree to Coscharis’ condition that it helps in securing waiver for it when the government knew it had no need for armoured cars at the sports festival.

-Premium Times

Click here to subscribe to The Paradigm Newsletter

Comments

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