Reps probe how NIMASA auctioned 81 vehicles for N5.8M
The House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee investigating the disposal of federal government properties between 2010 and 2022 has demanded details of alleged devaluing and sales of 82 vehicles for the sum of N5.8 million by the management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) since 2010.
This followed a presentation by the Executive Director, NIMASA, Chudi Offodile at the resumed investigative hearing of the Committee at the House over the weekend.
The Ad-hoc Committee chaired by the House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonbvere, is looking into the ‘Disposal of public property by federal government agencies between 2010 and 2022 to unravel the extent of illegal auctioning, non-remittance of revenue realized into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF)’.
In the documents presented before the Committee by NIMASA, it was discovered that, a Peugeot Expert Ambulance with a market value of N200,000 was auctioned at N95,000; a Honda Civic Saloon Car valued at N170,000 was also sold at N76,500 while a grounded Toyota Hilux with a market value of N300,000 was disposed at N140,000.
Another Toyota Hilux (Accident) with a market value of N200,000 was reportedly sold at N96,000 and another Toyota Hilux (Grounded) with a market value of N250,000 was sold at N115,000.
According to the documents, two Toyota Hilux which was in the custody of Carbotage Consultant in Lagos at the time of inspection, put at N1 million market value, was sold at N470,000 each at liquidation/auction. A Honda Civic put at N210,000 was sold at N95,000; A Honda City put at N190,000 market value was sold at N80,000.
The agency had also through its office in Abuja auctioned a Toyota Hilux put at N500,000 market value at N245,000; a Toyota Avensis put at N300,000 market value was also sold at N145,000; a Toyota Corolla with a market value of N300,000 was sold at N147,000 while two Honda Civic vehicles put at N90,000 market value were reportedly sold at N30,000 each.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Prof. Julius Ihonbvere expressed concern over the hasty placement of an advert on the 29th March, 2022 calling for a public auction of NIMASA vehicles and sale of all the vehicles on the 30th March, 2022 through forced liquidation/auction.
He alleged that, the move was a clear case of a ‘pre-arrangement’ to hoodwink the government and Nigerians.
He noted that, the process contravened the extant Public Procurement Act to dispose public assets within 24 hours.
Prof. Ihonbvere informed that, the Ad-hoc Committee has received petitions against NIMASA alleging that, the vehicles were sold to some officials and staff of the Agency and that, the Auctioneers engaged were merely hired to rubber stamp the insider trading.
The Committee therefore requested for the list of all the Auctioneers, the beneficiaries of the auctioned vehicles, the original cost of vehicles and invoices.
It also requested NIMASA to submit letter of contract awards for the auctioning of the assets to the Auctioneers, relevant approvals obtained from Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as well as Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
It further demanded evidence of funds remitted into the CRF account as provided by extant provisions of the Procurement Act, Proceed of Crimes Act, and other known legislations or financial regulations.
In his response, Offodile said he was not too familiar with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 regarding remittance of the funds generated from the sale of public assets.
He however informed that the proceeds of sales were paid by the Auctioneers into NIMASA’s accounts.
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