Senate Committee Sees To Procurement Of Locally Made Vehicles

Senate Committee, Locally MadeThe Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industry, Senator Sam Egwu, has promised that the legislature will come up with relevant laws to ease the effect of foreign exchange on local manufacturers and ensure patronage for them.

Speaking during an oversight inspection of Innoson Automobile Manufacturing Plant, Nnewi, Anambra state, alongside his committee members, he said that the situation is detrimental to the nation’s economy.

Senator Egwu said that he was hopeful that the Procurement Bill which has passed the second reading and only awaiting the President’s assent would bring hope for indigenous manufacturers.

He explained that the bill is expected to strengthen local patronage by the government which is the major advocacy of the bill.

Innoson Automobile is expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of the bill as this means that government agencies would begin to use Innoson vehicles.

Innoson is the only vehicle manufacturing company in the country as others are only into assemblage and the Senator maintained that government should encourage such development in every possible means for the good of the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Automobile Group, Mr Innocent Chukwuma, confirmed the view that the economic challenges were taking its toll on local manufacturers,

He revealed that production has dropped due to discrepancies in planning and outcome but remained hopeful that intervention from government would indeed ease the effects.

Alleged Fraud: Court Defers Trial Of NAMA Boss, Others

Court-NAMAA Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned hearing on the trial of the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and six other persons till May 12.

Mr Ibrahim Abdulsalam and the other accused persons appeared before Justice Babs Kuewumi on Wednesday over an alleged fraud of 6850 billion Naira.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Abdulsalam alongside Adegorite Olumuyiwa, and his wife who is the Managing Director of Multeng Travels and Tours Limited, Joy Ayodele Adegorite on a 24-count charge bordering on alleged fraud.

Other accused persons are Agbolade Segun, Clara Aliche, and two limited liability companies, Multeng Travels and Tours Limited, as well as Randville Investment Limited.

At the resumed trial of the accused persons, their lawyers led by Mr Wale Akoni, urged the court to grant a very short adjournment to enable them study the ‘bulky’ proof of evidence served on them by the prosecution.

Lawyers to the other accused persons, Dunkwa A, Lanre Olayinka, and Abiodun Julius, informed the court that it had been extremely difficult to gain access to their clients at the prisons’ facilities where they were being remanded.

According to them, the situation has made it impossible for them to perfect the bail terms.

The lawyers lamented that their clients’ detention had also compounded their inability to understand the proof of evidence, urging the court to grant their application for adjournment.

In a swift reaction, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, vehemently opposed the application for adjournment while urging the court to dismiss same.

“We are opposing the application for adjournment. We found out that the applications lack merit and should be dismissed,” Oyedepo said.

The EFCC prosecutor further informed the court that the ground on which the applications for adjournment was made was overstretched.

He urged the court to dismiss the application for adjournment, and allow the trial to commence.

In his ruling, Justice Kuewumi conceded to the accused persons’ application for adjournment and deferred the trial till May 12.

The accused persons were also alleged to have converted various sums of money amounting to 4,003 billion Naira belonging to NAMA to their personal use.

NAMA Boss, Five Others In Court For Alleged 6.9bn Naira Fraud

High-court on NAMA boss others trialThe Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), four other officials of the agency and an official’s wife are facing trial for allegedly stealing 6.9 billion Naira.

They are facing a 21-count charge of conspiracy, forgery and money laundering brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The accused persons are the Managing Director of the agency, Ibrahim Abdulsalam, a former Managing Director, who is said to be at large, Nnamdi Udoh, the General Manager, Procurement, Adegorite Olumuyiwa, the General Manager, Finance, Agbolade Segun, a Director of Finance, Clara Aliche and the wife of the General Manager for Procurement, Joy Ayodele Adegorite.

They were arraigned on Thursday alongside two companies Randville Investment Limited and Multeng Travels and Tours Limited.

The companies were allegedly used as conduit pipes to defraud the Agency, the anti-graft agency claimed.

According to the anti-graft agency, the accused persons allegedly conspired to steal the 6,922,676,815 Naira from NAMA.

When the charge was read to the accused persons, they all pleaded not guilty.

Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, then asked the court to remand the accused persons in prison and grant a short trial date.

The lawyers for the accused persons pleaded with the court to remand their client in the EFCC custody pending the hearing of their bail applications but Justice Kuewunmi upheld the objection of the prosecution and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison.

He adjourned to April 12 for hearing of the bail applications.

Lawyers to the accused persons did not comment on the matter but counsel to the EFCC, who spoke to Channels Television’s correspondent, Shola Soyele, said the commission filed charges against the accused persons after investigating petitions written against them.

BPP To Prosecute Procurement Offenders

procurementOver one hundred people are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for various offenses that is foul to the Public Procurement Procedure in Nigeria.

The Director General of the Bureau for Public Procurement BPP, Engr. Emeka Eze, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television said.

Engr. Eze, while responding to questions on how the reforms in the Procurement Procedure are improving, said it is not the job of the bureau to prosecute anyone, adding that his organization would communicate with the law enforcement bodies and those found culpable would be taken to court.

Mr Eze spoke on the procurement planning software which now makes it faster and easier for ministries, parastatals and agencies to finish their planning on time for budgets to be implemented as much as possible.

Part of the recommendations, according to him, is that procurement entities should ensure early procurement planning using the BPP procurement planning soft ware.

Engr.Eze also spoke on the new approach saying there is a recommendation that there should be a central procurement for ministries, parastatals, as well as inclusion of state governments in the procurement plan which he said is gaining ground.

SERAP, Others Demand Ballot Paper Contract Details From INEC

inecSocio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Corruption Watch UK, and the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), have sent an open letter to the  INEC Chairman, seeking his clarifications on the contracts for printing ballot papers for the forth coming elections.”

In their joint statement, the groups expressed concern at suggestions that INEC may have overpaid considerably for the ballot papers.

“Information passed to us suggests that INEC may have paid as much as four times more for the ballot papers than they cost to produce. If true, this raises serious issues of transparency and accountability in the procurement process by INEC, and will amount to a fundamental breach of the UN Convention against Corruption, to which Nigeria is a state party.”

The groups also argued that, “Transparent, competitive and efficient procurement systems are part of the broad measures needed to curb corruption in the electoral process, and to achieve a fair political process and ultimately, the rule of law.”

The letter dated 6 February 2015 was signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni; Corruption Watch Director, Andrew Feinstein, and ANEEJ Executive Director, David Ugolor.

According to the groups, “there must be full transparency over the contracts to print the ballot papers for the General Election, including the number of ballot papers ordered, the cost of the ballot papers, the companies selected to complete the contracts and the systems put in place to guarantee the security of the printing and delivery process.”

“We believe that if full transparency is not followed with regard to the ballot paper contracts, it is capable of tarnishing the legitimacy of the electoral process itself. Transparency is also necessary to enhance the credibility of INEC and citizens’ trust and full participation and engagement with the electoral process,” the groups stated.

The groups therefore requested Professor Jega to use his “good offices and leadership to urgently and widely publish the contracts that INEC entered into for the ballot papers with a full break down of costs and the number of ballot papers ordered, and the companies that will print the papers.”

“At the very least, INEC should put in the public domain the cost of the contracts, the number of ballot papers specified in the contract, and the companies with which contracts have been entered into. We would also be grateful for clarifications on the process for the bidding for the contracts,” the groups added.

Willie Obiano Inaugurates Petroleum Products Task Force

Willie ObianoAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has inaugurated the Committee on Procurement, Pricing, Regulation and Distribution of Petroleum Products in the state, with a mandate to maintain sanity and stability in the activities of the sector.

Inaugurating the 32-member committee at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, the Governor noted that the committee was an important organ in his administration that demands commitment, dedication and integrity.

He charged them, among other things, to monitor and fish out smugglers in unwholesome materials used in adulterating petroleum products and monitor the allocation of products meant for the state at the NNPC depot in Enugu and forestall their diversion.

Governor Obiano warned that government would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any member of the committee who uses the avenue to extort money from petroleum dealers or people.

Having inaugurated the committee, the members filed out and received a handshake of commitment to duty which was followed by a pledge of credible service by the Chairman of the committee, Nnamso Nwafor-Orizu.

He gave assurances of using his wealth of experience garnered in the field of oil and gas to carry out his responsibilities in the areas of limiting all forms of corrupt practices including adulteration, adjustment of pump measures and diversion of products.

Governor Willie Obiano noted that the committee’s assignment is renewable after three months.