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Aviation Scandals: 2014 Armoured 750LI BMW Cost only N38M, -Automaker BMW, Armour Company

Nigeria's controversial minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

The African Examiner

Corruption is on the march at the Ministry of Aviation, with poor aviation safety records the ministry under Honourable Stella Oduah is sinking deeper into the clutches of influence peddling, irresponsible spendings, bribery and scandalous business dealings that outpaced improvements in the sector.

Most Nigerian Airlines are on the EU blacklist drawn up by the European Commission.

Yet the recent purchase of two armoured vehicles by Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) at the cost of N255.1million for the minister is considered normal in a country with huge poor population.

Contrary to the figures presented to the public, Per Second News investigation revealed that the cost of the vehicles has been inflated by over N185m. The BMW makers of the 760LI informed the Per Second News that a fully loaded 2014 cost less than $145,000 (N23.2M).

Nigeria's controversial minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Nigeria’s controversial minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Per Second News visited the office of the BMW in Annapolis, and Silver Spring all in the state of Maryland and the cost of the 2014 BMW LI full option is at $142,575 (N22.8M)

In terms of economic impact, the debilitating effect of corruption is tangible, according to the CEO of Worldwide Armouring LLC, a US based firm, that specializes in the custom manufacturing of numerous makes & models of different luxury armored sedans and large size trucks. They also armors SUVs and various types of armored SWAT trucks and vans; all tailored per each client requirements.

They also armored BMW 760li, the exact vehicle bought by the NCAA for the minister. According to Dave Simmons, the BMW 750LI is a combination of dynamic and refined BMW, it has a V-8 engine with TwinPower Turbo technology and 400 horsepower, making it ideal for added armor.

It would cost $240,000 (N37.9M) to purchase, armour and deliver to Nigeria, according to the armour expert.

In defense of the purchase, the Director General of the NCAA, Capt Akinkuotu, on Friday while addressing a news conference in Abuja amid public outcry at the cost of the procurement of the two BMW 760 Li armoured vehicles, said that the purchase of the “operational vehicles’’ were duly captured in the 2013 appropriation of the agency.

“The cars are operational vehicles used in the varied operations of the NCAA, transporting the minister and aviation-related foreign dignitaries are part of this operation.

“It is internationally customary to convey our minister and these visiting dignitaries in security vehicles whenever they are in Nigeria.

“It must be noted that during such visitations, the security of members of delegations is the sole responsibility of the host country,’’ he said.

Nigeria is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral wealth as well as in terms of livestock and agricultural lands. However, these economic resources are not reflected in the miserable lives of an enduring people, satisfied with little.

Under performing Government officials like Stella Oduah, lives in opulence amid extreme poverty and inequality.

Rather than addressing the irresponsible purchase, Akinkuotu said that he was “shell-shocked’’ that government information regarding the procurement of the two vehicles was obtained illegally and transmitted to the public medium in an “illegal manner’’.

“How you obtain information and how you put it in the public purview can actually be criminal,’’ he said.

He said that the agency had yet to ascertain the source of the leaked documents that revealed the details of the transactions.

According to him, the agency has issued a circular to all the staff, reminding them of the “confidentiality’’ of certain aspects of their work.

Persecond News

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