A group known as Investigative Reporters In Aviation (IRA) has come out with yet another bombshell on the wanton looting of the nation’s financial resources by the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, and her disorganization of the entire aviation sector.
Speaking for the group, Mazi Kanayo Ochei, and Kenneth Uti President and Secretary respectively, said their investigations reveal that in addition to the two cars she forced the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to purchase for her, she also forced the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to buy two each of the same brand of cars.
“I don’t understand why Nigerian media are shouting about NCAA alone, when a total of six bulletproof cars were actually purchased by the Minister on the bill of three aviation agencies,” they said.
“Our work as IRA revealed that while Nnamdi Udoh of NAMA bought two BMW, Joyce Nkemakolam (Acting DG) of NCAA bought two BMW, and Mr. Uresi George of FAAN bought two bullet-proof American specs limousine for the Minister of Aviation.”
They further stated that all the purchases were made from Coscharis Motors and cannot be denied.
“If Nigerians really know the magnitude of the rot in the Aviation Industry as at this moment, they will carry placards against this administration,” the IRA officials said, noting that the FAAN is heading for bankruptcy, with the MD on the verge of taking a bank loan to pay workers’ salaries last month.
“The only option left for FAAN now is to begin to use part of their statutory remittance to Federation Account to offset their bills.”
On the part of NAMA, the IRA described it as being in disarray, that nobody seems to know what is going on and that the workers have completely lost confidence in the Management. They noted that members of the NAMA staff have threatened on several occasions in the recent past to embark on industrial action based on poor conditions of service and heaps of unpaid allowances.
“IRA further wants EFCC to call Coscharis Motors for questioning on the six cars purchased by the Minister so as to get to the root of this issue,” they said.
It would be recalled that on October 19, the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, told a press conference in Abuja that the Federal Government was hunting for the whistleblower who leaked the story of the two scandalous armoured cars the agency bought for Mrs. Oduah at a cost of N225m.
On October 21, SaharaReporters further reported that NAMA had also purchased four Toyota Tundra vehicles for Mrs. Oduah in addition to four stretch limousine cars that were said to have been bought for the transportation of VIPs to the Ministry.
In a statement, Supo Atobatele, the General Manager of NAMA, attacked the report as “frivolous, malicious and mischievous.”
“We hereby make it categorically clear to the unsuspecting public that this evil story as being promoted, is patently false in its entirety and calculated to put the agency and the office of the minister into disrepute,” he said.
IRA has called on President Jonathan to recognize that only a level-headed, matured and patriotic Minister can help Nigerian Aviation industry, “not a self-seeking, corrupt and proud person like Stella Oduah.”
Furthermore, the group said, “We also want to advise the newly confirmed Director-General of NCAA Fola Akinkotun to stop defending what he knows practically nothing about, while we sympathize with his position, we advise him to stop making any further reckless press statement in any futile attempt at defending those who all Nigerians know how they ganged up to prevent him from taking up the position of the DG NCAA for almost 5 months after he was chosen by President Jonathan.”
This morning, George Uresi, the chief executive officer of the FAAN admitted to a hearing of the Senate Aviation Committee that the agency indeed bought four bullet proof cars for Ms. Oduah at N70 million each.