Tuesday, October 22, 2013
NAMA Claims Limousines Parked On Its Property Belong To Unnamed Concessionaire; Stays Quiet on ‘Donation’ Of Four Tundras To Minister Oduah
"frivolous, malicious and mischievous" a SaharaReporters story that it
bought "four limousines along with other brands" for the Ministry of
Aviation or its leadership.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Supo Atobatele, NAMA said the
limousines "belong to a Concessionaire who is running a VIP shuttle
service for Non- Scheduled Operators (Charter Operators).
"We hereby make it categorically clear to the unsuspecting public that
this evil story, as being promoted is patently false in its entirety
and is calculated to put the agency and the office of the honourable
minister into disrepute," the statement said.
"The said vehicles were never on the inventory of NAMA and we would
like to declare with all emphasis that we do no run ground services as
we are statutorily, an air navigation service provider.
"We advice (sic) the media to be wary of unconfirmed stories from
mischief makers who are bent on creating chaos in the aviation
industry," the statement said.
In a story published last night, SaharaReporters revealed that in
addition to the two overpriced luxury cars purchased from official
funds by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for the Minister, NAMA
had in turn also purchased four Toyota Tundra vehicles for her, as
well as four stretch limousines supposedly for the movement of VIPs
visiting the Ministry.
Following the publication of that story, as we reported this morning,
NAMA began to shop for someone to claim the vehicles so as to enable
NAMA and Mrs. Oduah to arrange a press conference with the phantom
owner. In his hastily-scribbed press statement, Mr. Atobatele did not
specify the charter operator, or name its owner.
While there was no sign of the Tundras as of yesterday, the limousines
were parked at the headquarters of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria
(TRACON) grounds in Abuja.
Although he alludes to "unconfirmed reports" today, SaharaReporters
did reach Mr. Atobatele himself yesterday for comment on the
SaharaReporters findings before the story was published. He claimed
to have been driving and could not speak on the wheel. He
subsequently denied any existence of the limousines and then abruptly
switched off his phone once he was informed that SaharaReporters was
in possession of dated photos of the vehicles.
According to our investigations, NAMA's CEO, Nnamdi Udo, made the
purchase of the Tundras last June and 'donated' them to the Minister.
The limousines were also received in June but have never been put to
use. It is unclear from Mr. Atobatele's account why private Charter
Operators would import vehicles and then park them in the premises of
a public agency to rot away.
It is equally confusing as to why, having imported the vehicles, a
private company looking for profit would leave the vehicles untouched
for at least four months.
It would be recalled that earlier this month, The Patriots issued a
statement in which it called for Mrs. Oduah to be fired, saying they
wanted "wanted to sound a serious note of warning to both the
Presidency, the Legislature and all the high and mighty whose family
and friends, constitutes the bulk of air transport passengers in
Nigeria to wake up from their slumber and immediately reverse the
unfolding ugly trend being spurned by [Mrs Oduah] by calling her to
The group accused Mrs. Oduah of "orchestrating the biggest fraud of
the century and milking the Aviation parastatals dry all in the name
of unsavoury transformation agenda," an allegation to which neither
the Ministry nor any of its agencies responded.
Among their many specific allegations, The Patriots said:
• The Minister had instituted a monthly standing deduction order of
about N158million each from the accounts of Aviation Agencies namely
NAMA, NCAA and FAAN and other Agencies under her and remittance of
same into a secret account solely run by her.
• The Minister recently ordered the three main Agencies (FAAN, NCAA
and NAMA) to cough out millions of Naira to settle the bill of six (6)
Sophisticated custom-built ballistic armoured BMW cars for her
personal use (either for her failed Gubernatorial ambition campaign or
for 2015 Neighbour-to-Neighbour presidential election campaign).