The House of Representatives has indicated that it will investigate the purchase of two BMW armoured cars bought for the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
Meanwhile, a private procurement consultant in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Maiyaki said that aside the financial cost of the car and the outrage of Nigerians, the Aviation Minister is not involved in the purchase of the cars based on the information in the public.
Maiyaki said that the procurement act is quite clear on those who will bear the brunt of over-pricing. According to him, the effect on the minister is the image deficit she has suffered, since she would not cart away the cars at the end of her tenure, neither did she initiate the process for the purchase of the cars.
The NCAA last week explained that the vehicles were purchased for the safety of the Minister and other top aviation personalities who visit the country on a regular basis. The NCAA said the two cars are in its possession and were bought on official basis.
In an interview, the House spokesman, Zakari Mohammed stated that the House will commence its investigation from the point of budgetary appropriation. He stated that it was not clear if the House budgeted for the two cars in the 2013 appropriation.
Ahmed Ai, chairman House Committee on Justice stated that the House would work towards unravelling those behind the purchase and the roles played by different individuals.
It however, appears that beyond investigations the House may not make any meaningful contribution. The NCAA is one of the Federal Parastatals mandated by law to generate revenue and expend without following the process of appropriation.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole attempted to effect the necessary amendment, but failed due to the nature of the functions of the NCAA, which requires several emergency expenditures. Funds generated are not usually paid into the treasury for appropriation to be done by the National Assembly.
Scan News gathered also that beyond the public outcry against the purchase is the fact that the purchase was made entirely by the Agency, while the ownership of the vehicles rests with the NCAA. In this case, the minister stood to benefit nothing from the vehicle if she did not participate in the procurement process.