NCAA didn’t follow due process on bullet proof cars- BPP

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
Stella Oduah, Former Aviation Minister

The Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) said the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) did not follow due process in the purchase of controversial BMW armoured cars for Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah.

The agency made this clarification while making a presentation at the one day public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on Thursday in Abuja.

The public hearing is to enable the committee to investigate the purchase of two BMW armoured cars which has generated controversy in the last few weeks.

Similarly, the House Committee on Aviation summoned the Minister of Aviation to appear before it unfailingly on Tuesday Oct. 29 to explain her role in the purchase saga.

The House, on Oct. 22 sequel to a motion by the Minority Whip, Rep. Samson Osagie, mandated its Committee on Aviation to investigate the matter and report to it within one week.

Ayo Aderigbigbe, a Director in the BPP, who represented the Director-General of the agency, Emeka Eze told the committee that BPP was neither involved in the transaction by the NCAA nor the ministry.

He explained that the action of the NCAA in respect of the purchase of the said vehicles was outright violation of the provisions of the Act establishing the bureau.

Moreover, he said that any goods worth more than N100 million was beyond the approval limit of the NCAA, and must go to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

Also, the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Rep Nkiruka Onyejiocha and other members of the committee accused the NCAA of violating the provisions of the 2013 Appropriation Act.

The Representatives said that NCAA also violated the constitution of the country which stipulated the way public fund should be spent.

The House interrogated the Director-General of NCAA, Fola Akinkuotu and Joyce Nkemakolam, the former acting Director-General of the agency on the purchase of operational vehicles for the establishment.

However, it was discovered during the interrogation that the NCAA went beyond what was appropriated for it in the year 2013 budget.

Reps Jerry Manwe, Matthew Omegara, Zakari Mohammed and others observed that the National Assembly appropriated a sum of N240 million for NCAA for the purchase of 25 operational vehicles in the 2013 budget.

The lawmakers said that the officials of the agency went out of their way to commit the sum of N643 million for the purchase of 54 cars instead.

The lawmakers, who grilled the NCAA management team lamented that Nkemakolam demonstrated serious disregard to the National Assembly by neglecting its legislations.

The committee members were angry that Nkemakolam made approvals that were contrary to Acts of Parliament.

The committee was not satisfied with the presentation and responses of the officials of NCAA.

Subsequently, the committee mandated them to come back on Oct. 29 with bank statements from their operational accounts with the First Bank, Sterling Bank, UBA, FCMB, Zenith Bank and CBN.

The lawmakers also insisted that the minister of aviation must conclude or abandon her official engagement in Israel and appear before the committee next Tuesday as a matter of compulsion.

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