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Reps are unhappy with NIMASA’s selling of 82 vehicles for N5.8 million.



Members of the House of Representatives have expressed concern about the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) sale of 82 vehicles for N5.8 million over the last 12 years.

This came during the resumed investigative hearing into the ‘Disposal of public property by the Agencies between 2010 and 2022 to unravel the extent of illegal auctioning of public property, non-remittance of revenue realised into Consolidated Revenue Fund’, chaired by Hon. Julius Ihonbvere.

According to Offodile, the sale was conducted legally.

However, the committee’s chairman, Hon. Ihonbvere, revealed that the Ad-hoc Committee was in possession of petitions against NIMASA that the vehicles were sold to some of the Agency’s officials and staff, and that the Auctioneers hired by NIMASA were merely hired to rubber stamp the fictitious insider trading.

According to the documents presented and obtained, a Peugeot Expert Ambulance with a market value of N200,000 was sold at a forced liquidation/auction value of N95,000; a Honda Civic Saloon Car with a market value of N170,000 was sold at a forced liquidation/auction value of N76,500; and a Toyota Hilux (Grounded) with a market value of N300,000 was sold at a forced liquidation/auction value of N140,000.

Another Toyota Hilux (Accidental) worth N200,000 was sold for N96,000, while another Toyota Hilux (Grounded) for N250,000 was sold for N115,000.

In the same vein, two units of Toyota Hilux, which were in the custody of Carbotage Consultant in Lagos at the time of inspection, were sold at N470,000 each forced liquidation/auction value; Honda Civic, which was put at N210,000, was sold at N95,000; Honda City, which was put at N190,000 market value, was sold at N80,000; and others.

A Toyota Hilux with a market value of N500,000 was sold for N245,000 through its Abuja office; a Toyota Avensis with a market value of N300,000 was sold for N145,000; a Toyota Corolla with a market value of N300,000 was sold for N147,000; and two Honda Civics with a market value of N90,000 were sold for N30,000 each.

Other parliamentarians who spoke during the investigation wanted documentary evidence of cash deposited into the CRF account as required by the Procurement Act, Proceeds of Crimes Act, and other recognized legislations or financial laws.

Mr. Offodile, in his presentation, denied awareness of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 on the remittance of cash produced from the sale of public assets, but stated that the proceeds of sales were remitted into NIMASA’s coffers by the Auctioneers.

Mr. Offodile responded in the negative when asked if the Agency has a mechanic facility where damaged vehicles can be repaired.

While expressing surprise that most of the vehicles displayed in the document presented to the Ad-hoc Committee did not appear to be old or in poor condition, Hon. Ihonbvere stated, “looking at them (pictures of vehicles captured in the documents), some of them are looking new,” adding that a 13-year-old Toyota Hilux is not old for Nigerians.

Hon. Ihonbvere then described how a former Edo State Governor hired a female mechanic to repair some of the vehicles labelled as unserviceable, recovering over 100 vehicles and storing spare parts.

He explained that the female mechanic repaired over 100 vehicles, which were then deployed to other MDAs, preventing cash leakages.

Hon. Ihonbvere raised particular worry about the logic behind placing an advertisement on the 29th of March, 2022 calling for a public auction of NIMASA vehicles and the sale of all cars on the 30th of March, 2022 through forced liquidation/auction.

While claiming that the move “leaves us with the impression that it’s a pre-arrangement,” the Majority Leader claimed that the procedure violated the existing Public Procurement Act’s requirement to dispose of public assets within 24 hours.

As a result, lawmakers requested a list of all Auctioneers as well as beneficiaries of the vehicles, the original cost of vehicles and invoices, letters of contract awards for auctioning assets to Auctioneers, and relevant approvals obtained from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

One of the MPs expressed concern that the Agency only sold vehicles and had no record of selling laptops and other office equipment during the time period under examination.

Hon. Ihonbvere, who requested asset registers for NIMASA and other MDAs, revealed that the asset registers would be computerised in the state-of-the-art library currently under construction within the National Assembly complex and scheduled to be completed by the end of September 2023.

In a same manner, MPs grilled Sokoto River Basins’delegation on indiscriminate sales of public assets to too management of the Agency in violation of the existing Public Procurement Act, at exorbitant prices.

To that end, Hon. Ihonbvere directed the NIMASA and Sokoto River Basin delegations to furnish pertinent documents to aid the continuing investigation. The Ad-hoc Committee is set to start hearings on September 20, 2023.

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