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Waiver: Vehicles Ordered Didn’t Include BMW Armored Cars, says Lagos State

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The Lagos State Government, has said it neither requested for, nor used bulletproof vehicles BMW level 7 during the 18th National Sports Festival in the State, maintaining that it only requested for and got from Coscharis regular saloon cars, four wheel drive vehicles and buses in its capacity as official vehicle providers for the Sports festival.

Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

A statement signed by the Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Enitan Oshodi, said the State Government duly made a request to President Goodluck Jonathan for waiver of destination inspection charges and duty exemptions on 300 vehicles which were to be used for the festival.

Giving a background to the provision of the vehicles for the Sports Festival, the statement explained that following the offer of sponsorship of and provision of vehicles for the Festival by Coscharis Nigeria Limited, the State Government made a formal request to the President for waiver of destination inspection charges and duty exemptions on 300 vehicles as requested by the sponsors which was granted.

According to the statement, which sought to set straight “information making the rounds with regards to the vehicles requested from and supplied by Coscharis Nigeria Limited for use at the immediate past 18th National Sports Festival hosted by the Lagos State from November 27 to December 9, 2012”, the request was duly granted by the President leading to the issuance of a Certificate of Waiver in respect of the duty payable on the importation of the cars, by Coscharis Nigeria Limited.

“The Lagos State Government would therefore like to put it on record that documents exist to show the vehicles which were supplied and used during the 18th NSF. The vehicles requested from Coscharis who were Sponsors of the 18th NSF were limited to regular saloon cars, four wheel drive vehicles and buses to convey the 14,000 athletes and 10,000 officials who attended the games”, the statement said.

“It must be remembered that the National Sports Festival belongs to the Federal Government. The State hosts it on terms and conditions contained in written agreements. One of the conditions was the provision of 300 vehicles for officials and athletes use. Because the State did not budget to buy vehicles it was mooted and the State agreed that Coscharis who had done this kind of transaction for the Federal Government before, should supply the vehicles for use only.

“All that the State was required to do was to apply to the Federal Government for waiver which she duly did while also supplying fuel and drivers for the vehicles. The State was not involved in clearing the vehicles which was done through the Customs, a Federal Government Agency and Coscharis,” it explained.

The government said it was, therefore, not in a position to know whether bulletproof vehicles were imported or cleared under the cover of the waiver granted.

“Government also wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that it did not request for any bulletproof vehicle BMW level 7 series or any other bulletproof vehicle for use at the games, nor was any such vehicle used in the hosting of the 18th NSF,” it clarified.



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