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Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister, Named In Multi Billion Naira Scam at FAAN

May 2, 2012

Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, has been named in a string of scams,
running into billions of Naira  at the Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria ( FAAN). sources disclosed that  some of the corrupt
practices allegedly perpetrated under the nose and with the active
connivance of  Oduah includes the illegal conversion of over N390
million revenue of FAAN for “renovation of toilets at the Murtalla
Mohammed International Airport MMIA”

Other scams are N40 Billion airport remodelling programme, her per
project, which has no budgetary provision, N228 million approved for
the service of two power generating sets, N140 Million  approved, and
collected for staff training that never held, and an alleged N1
billion lodged under phony circumstances at Chase Bank.

The payment was due from a advertising concessionnaire -AfroMedia.
The deal was allegedly carried out without following due process of
approvals from the ministry or the Federal executive council which
would normally approve spendings above 50 million naira .In order to
cover up the fraud, the concessionnaire was mandated to pay directly
the revenue due to FAAN to another company for the renovation claiming
in it’s books that it was a corporate social responsibility project.

However the lid blew open when Afro media was requested to pay over
one billion naira due to the agency by the commercial department of
FAAN, and the company claimed to have made a part payment to a third
party for renovation of toilets, in a deal “unknown”to the management,
but reportedly approved by the MD.George Uriesi.

This deal was against legal advice from the General Manager Legal
department who wrote a memo to the Management denouncing the
deal,asking the agency to recorver the amount from AfroMedia ,the
organization however kicked against any double payment saying the
project was not a corporate social responsibility project but a
payment to the agency.

AfroMedia ,a quoted company on the Nigerian stock Exchange has
consistently posted a loss to it’s shareholders in the last three

Another deal under investigation was the refurbishing of three
generators at the abuja airport for the sum ofN 228million naira,
which is N76 m apiece.a deal which attracted an audit query from the
internal audit department.

The management approved the refurbishment of the generators by Julius
Berger Nigeria, despite a Quotation to supply a new generator of same
capacity forN 55million from John Holt, a reputable vendor in abuja. however learnt that  despite the refurbishment, the
nations international airport has continued to witness blackouts to
the utter embarrassment of aviation passengers.One of such which
occurred on the 21 st April is now subject of a probe in the National

The management of FAAN has also been accused of a phony deal in the
payment of $840 ,000 (about N140 Million ), to an organization
Travelco based in South Africa for training of staff of the agency.The
allegation is that the training was never held despite the payment
while the amount was yet to be recorvered.

Sources close to FAAN confirmed that the agency was linked to the
Managing Director ,and stakeholders wondered while the training in
South Africa for the huge amount when the agency had a training deal
with an organization in the US A for free.

Also catching the attention of the anti corruption agency is the
alleged siphoning of over a billion naira by some staffers of the
organization through a private Chase Bank account said to belong to a
California based Nigerian simply reffered to as Maurice .

The EFCC is said to be relying on bilateral agreement with the US
authorities to assist in investigating the series of payment into this
account said to be suspicious income from corruption .

The bigger deal which may give the agency hard nut to crack is the N40
billion airport remodeling programme which is being directly handled
by the minister without any budgetary provision in the 2011 budget.

The  remodeling was allegedly being financed from yet unknown sources
but  sources told that  the CBN based Bilateral
services account” BASA” may have been depleted by the Minister to
finance the so called remodeling which are being implemented without
appropriation and due process certification by the relevant

The Minister who is a close ally of President Jonathan is said to be
banking on the relationship to stave off any backlash from the anti
corruption agencies. An aviation ministry source said the project was
to boost the image of the Nigeria government in the eyes of world
hence the”hues and cries over following due process is irrelevant .The
Minister is eager to achieve so why the talk of not following due

Culled from Pointblank News of Tuesday 1st May 2012

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