Half of the story of how billions of naira disappeared under the watch of the immediate ministers of finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Bashir Yuguda may not be fully told.
Although the two have been in the centre of scandal involving $2.1 arms money, that may as well be a tip of the iceberg wen a closer look is beamed on the ministry under former President Good luck Jonathan.
In what may as well be another siinky affair for the ministry put off is the approval of over one billion naira for a lease of office accommodation for use of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) sometime in 2014.
According to a document in possession of The Street Journal marked: NDIC,/ADM/ILZO/VOL.03, which emanated from the office of Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director/Chief Executive, NDIC and dated January 8, 2014, requested the ministry of state, finance to approve the sum of N1,673,100,000 to lease a property at Adeola Odeku Street, Lagos.
With the heading: Request For Approval To Lease Property At Plot 1037, Adeola Odeku Street, Post Office. Towers (Block B), Victoria Island, Lagos, the letter reads in part:
“The Honourable Minster may wish to be informed that 430 staff in the corporation’s Lagos office are currently accommodated at Mammam Kantagora House (MKH) and NECOM House, both at Marina, Lagos.
“Problems such as malfunctioning air conditioner, epilectic power and water supply and leakages at the MKH as well as poor sanitary and lift facilities at both MKH and NECOM House had all contributed to unconducive working environment and had impacted negatively on the image of the corporation.
” The corporation currently pays N139,980,793 .26 and N98,677,000.00 per annum as rent at Mammam Kantagora House and NECOM House respectively. This inclusive of both service charge and taxes.h
Based on this, the corporation said it needed the minister’s approaval to rent another Property, which total yearly rentage was put at N1,673,1000, 000..00.
And a clinker was added: “The Honourable Minster may wish to note that the corporation’s Legal Department having reviewed the Public Procument Act 2007, opined that the corporation may not need to follow any guidelines issued under the Public Procument Act to transact the Lease agreement as it is neither ” goods, or “services”
“The corporation’s 2014 budget has adequate provision to fund the Lease of the property”, the document concluded.
The letter was signed by managing director/chief executive of the corporation, Umaru Ibrahim.
However, sources within the corporation said this was another way of siphoning government resources as the lease in question was intended to enrich their pockets.
It was discovered the reasons given by the managing director for wanting another accommodation were far removed from truth.
The source queried why such huge sum of money could expended on rentage in a year when the smount in questipn was enough to purchase a property outrightly. And for another, for the corporation to suggest to the minister that the deal should not be subjected to Public Procument Act was suggestive of shoddy business.
Another question that begged for answer was with five to ten million naira would it not have been possible to effect a repair to the former accommodation rather than going for another, bearing in mind cost of moving from place to another?
All these added up, calls for questioning the the money which NDIC boss sought via the letter.
The fomer minister of state, finance, Yuguda is already docked over money he collected from the office of the National Security Adviser (,NSA), which he had confessed to collecting and disbursing same to some members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)