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Committee alleges fraud in aviation projects

05 June 2014, 11:58

Lagos - The Aviation Committee of the Federal House of Representatives alleges that all projects at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, embarked upon during the tenure of former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, are riddled with massive fraud.

The committee, headed by Nkiruka Onyejeocha, alleges that most of ongoing projects at the airport are sub-standard, despite costing millions of Naira.

The committee claims that a terminal building being constructed at the airport by a Chinese company is substandard and too small.

The committee members pointed out that an agreement between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and First Bank Nigeria amounted tofraud.

FAAN in 2012 signed an agreement with First Bank Nigeria to provide automated services for the agency. The agreement followed the eviction of Maevis Nigeria Limited by FAAN, despite a court order.

Following the agreement, First Bank then hired the company Avitec to handle the automation for FAAN.

The automation was for easy and transparent transaction and was meant to facilitate appropriate billing for the ticket and cargo sales charge.

However, although Avitech was providing services for FAAN, there was no direct relationship between FAAN and the firm because it was hired by First Bank.

House of Representatives members said the arrangement is fraudulent and faulty and must be terminated.

“If Maevis was bad, then AVITECH (deal) is worse,” the committee said.

The lawmakers also called on FAAN to release the names of those behind the Aero-tropolis projects, a type of airport cities, Oduah wanted to build to attract businesses in the airports.

They further ordered the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to return the two bulletproof cars it purchased last year at the hefty sum of N255 million for the personal use ofOduah.

The committee said it had recommended in its report last year that the expensive and over-priced cars be returned and the money refunded.

 “They (NCAA) have no business keeping those cars,” said Onyejeocha,

The House also called on the Commissioner of the Accident Investigation Bureau, Felix Abali to make public recent accident reports and recommendations the  commission made to the Federal Government.

The lawmakers also called on FAAN to revoke a contract it has with Landover Company as the manager of the Abuja terminal. Onyejeocha said it was inconceivable that an airline operator was also a manager of a Federal Government terminal.

– CAJ News

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