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More Trouble For Oduah as Presidency Moves To Probe N7.5bn Airports Remodel Projects

Nigeria's former Embattled Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Nigeria's former Embattled Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

The Presidency may have begun moves to thoroughly investigate the N7.5 Billion contracts for the remodelling of major airports across the country executed by embattled Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah.

Nigeria's Embattled Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Nigeria’s Embattled Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

The Airport Remodelling Contracts were awarded to: Trenur Nigeria Ltd, Archvisual Solution Ltd, Mesh Projects Ltd, Paache Construction, ARDC Ltd, and Ogbosite International Ltd among others.

This is coming barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a 3-man administrative panel to probe the controversial Minister of Aviation over the scandalous purchase of two BMW 7 Armored series at N255 million.

A major source of concern for the Presidency is the contract for the remodelling of the Benin Airport, allegedly awarded to the son of the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, which has been described by aviation experts as one of the worst projects in the history of aviation development globally.

The presidency is particularly miffed by deluge of petitions before Nigeria’s anti graft bodies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission ICPC and others, detailing scandalous allegations of over inflated contract involving the repairs of major airports across the country.

Part of the petition by an Aviation group group alleged “For example, Zakhem Construction Nig. Ltd was awarded the contract for upgrade of MMIA Lagos in the 1st phase at the sum of N920, 191, 147.58. Curiously, same company was awarded another contract in the tune of N981, 900,300.45 for ‘upgrade and rehabilitation’ of MMIA Lagos, under a spurious banner of Phase II.” According to the petition, “the entire Phase II is sheer duplication of Phase I.”

The petition currently being studied also alleged that “Messrs Ngonyama Okpanum and Associates; Messrs Design Union Consulting Ltd and Messrs Triad Associates Ltd were awarded contracts for consultancy works on the upgrade of the airports at the sums of N99, 179,507.17; N60, 986,730.46 and N95, 520,011.93 respectively without advertisement, certificate of No Objection from the BPP or approval by the tender’s board,” the union stated.

Another petition also alleged that “For instance, a contract on the provision of ‘new security strategies for airports’, N6.247 billion was paid already from the contract sum of N9 billion.

It is alleged that many Government agencies including the Aviation Ministry are using the ‘No Objection Certificate’ given by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to issue contracts of over N20 billion without advertising them, once they write to the BPP, which allows for selective tendering.

Presidency sources disclosed that  some of the corrupt? practices allegedly perpetrated under the nose and with the active? connivance of  Ms Oduah includes the illegal conversion of over N390? Million revenue of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for “renovation of toilets at the Murtalla? Mohammed International Airport MMIA”

Other scams are N40 Billion airport remodeling programme, her pet 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 anger of the Benin airport users, according to a petition signed by Comrade Odigie Momoh for  Edo Integrity Group, is hinged on concerns that the contractors are not qualified and have no basic record of similar projects.

“We demand an end to mediocrity and patronage. What we have at the remodeled Benin Airport is a sham, a scam of the highest level and a disgrace in the Aviation industry.”

“We demand that all the Airport remodeling projects in the country particularly the Benin Airport be thoroughly investigated and anyone found culpable be prosecuted including the son of the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe who we know got the contract,” Momoh of the Edo Integrity Group said in the statement.

Frontiers News

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