Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, has been named in a string of scams, running into billions of Naira at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN).
Pointblanknews.com sources disclosed that some of the corrupt practices allegedly perpetrated under the nose and with the active
connivance of Oduah includes the illegal conversion of over N390 million revenue of FAAN for “renovation of toilets at the Murtalla Mohammed International airport MMIA”
Other scams are N40 Billion airport remodelling programme, her per project, which has no budgetary provision, N228 million approved for the service of two power generating sets, N140 Million approved, and collected for staff training that never held, and an alleged N1 billion lodged under phony circumstances at Chase Bank.
The payment was due from a advertising concessionnaire -AfroMedia. The deal was allegedly carried out without following due process of approvals from the ministry or the Federal executive council which would normally approve spendings above 50 million naira. In order to cover up the fraud, the concessionnaire was mandated to pay directly the revenue due to FAAN to another company for the renovation claiming in it’s books that it was a corporate social responsibility project.
However the lid blew open when Afro media was requested to pay over one billion naira due to the agency by the commercial department of FAAN, and the company claimed to have made a part payment to a third party for renovation of toilets, in a deal “unknown”to the management, but reportedly approved by the MD.George Uriesi.
This deal was against legal advice from the General Manager Legal department who wrote a memo to the Management denouncing the
deal,asking the agency to recorver the amount from AfroMedia ,the organization however kicked against any double payment saying the project was not a corporate social responsibility project but a payment to the agency.
AfroMedia, a quoted company on the Nigerian stock Exchange has consistently posted a loss to it’s shareholders in the last three
Another deal under investigation was the refurbishing of three generators at the abuja airport for the sum ofN 228million naira,
which is N76 m apiece.a deal which attracted an audit query from the internal audit department.
The management approved the refurbishment of the generators by Julius Berger Nigeria, despite a Quotation to supply a new generator of same capacity forN 55million from John Holt, a reputable vendor in abuja.
Pointblanknews.com however learnt that despite the refurbishment, the nations international airport has continued to witness blackouts to the utter embarrassment of aviation passengers.One of such which occurred on the 21 st April is now subject of a probe in the National Assembly.
The management of FAAN has also been accused of a phony deal in the payment of $840 ,000 (about N140 Million ), to an organization Travelco based in South Africa for training of staff of the agency. The allegation is that the training was never held despite the payment while the amount was yet to be recorvered.
Sources close to FAAN confirmed that the agency was linked to the Managing Director ,and stakeholders wondered while the training in South Africa for the huge amount when the agency had a training deal with an organization in the US A for free.
Also catching the attention of the anti corruption agency is the alleged siphoning of over a billion naira by some staffers of the organization through a private Chase Bank account said to belong to a California based Nigerian simply reffered to as Maurice.
The EFCC is said to be relying on bilateral agreement with the US authorities to assist in investigating the series of payment into this account said to be suspicious income from corruption .
The bigger deal which may give the agency hard nut to crack is the N40 billion airport remodeling programme which is being directly handled by the minister without any budgetary provision in the 2011 budget.
The remodeling was allegedly being financed from yet unknown sources but sources told Pointblanknews.com that the CBN based Bilateral services account” BASA” may have been depleted by the Minister to finance the so called remodeling which are being implemented without appropriation and due process certification by the relevant authorities.
The Minister who is a close ally of President Jonathan is said to be banking on the relationship to stave off any backlash from the anti corruption agencies. An aviation ministry source said the project was to boost the image of the Nigeria government in the eyes of world hence the”hues and cries over following due process is irrelevant .The Minister is eager to achieve so why the talk of not following due process”