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ALLEGATIONS OF N 25B FRAUD ROCKS NIGERIAN AVIATION REGULATOR- FAAN,…BILLIONS PAID INTO PRIVATE ACCOUNT OF TOP OFFICIAL, ANTI CORRUPTION NGO ALLEGES

By Akinmola Ade
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The EFCC and the ICPC has been called upon to investigate allegations of staggering fraud of N25b and loss of another 40billion naira by officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). In a petition forwarded to the Executive Chairman of EFCC and the Chairman Senate committee on Aviation,Dr Sylvester Anyanwu, a civil society anti corruption group, TCN Transparency Centre Network based in Kaduna , said the agencies should investigate how some billions of Naira from the 25 billion naira generated by revenue concessionaire found its way into a private bank account of a top official of the FAAN.

The group in the letter signed by Alhaji Umar Farouk stated that following the report by some unions that a revenue concessionaire to the Agency named MAEVIS was holding illegally 17 billion naira collected for FAAN, it decided to conduct independent investigation into the allegation which accordingly brought out a can of worms on the mismanagement of FAAN

.''The Management of FAAN has collected not less than N25BIILON and $6m from the MAEVIS project in 28 months. The management cannot account for this huge money which was generated from only 6 sources .PART OF THIS MONEY WAS DEPOSITED IN PRIVATE ACCOUNT OF AN OFFICIAL OF FAAN. We call on EFCC, and ICPC to investigate this information .Over 50% OF THE FAAN CONCESSIONARES IN FOOD AND BEVERAGES AND OIL AND GAS are not documented with any agreements as many of them are owned by fronts of the top managers.''

Givng details how the organisation has lost several billin naira revenue the group stated ''FAAN MANAGERS HAVE FRUSTRATED FURTHER ATTEMPTS TO RECORVER ABOUT N40 BILLION IN OIL AND GAS CONCESSION “'.

The anti corruption group berated the Minister of Aviation for shielding the top management of FAAN despite being aware of the fraud adding “The Minister of Aviation is aware of this because she set up a Review panel and the report is lying on her table without implementation.REF FMA/FAAN/7090/173, February 2010””

The TCN called for the entire overhaul of the management of FAAN for the safety and security of the airports adding that the management was no longer capable of safeguarding the lives of air travelers '' There is serious security implication with some of the Oil and Gas supply management for airlines at the airport which have not been properly handled because of collusion with officials of FAAN'' Calling on the Federal government to give the concessionaire 12 months ultimatum for it to carry out the upgrade of facilities in Port Harcourt and Kano Airports the group said this is to allow the passengers enjoy the facelift already witnessed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport MMIA,

On the loss of revenue by FAAN the group further stated

” We note with concern that MAEVIS company has only computerized 6 sources of revenue out of about 30 it is expected to do. With the result achieved in 6 areas more positive result will be achieved if more computerization is carried on..

We expect the company to speedily carry out its mandate .The Federal government should give the company 12 months ultimatum to implement the automation of all other sources of revenue and also guarantee the company the enabling conducive environment to carry out its mandate.

Some of the unions whose members benefit from the inefficiency may continue to frustrate this ,if nothing is done .

Federal Government should step in to stop all other revenue drain pipes through under invoicing and backdating of concessions being done by FAAN management '' the group advised.

While commending MAEVIS for the noticeable improvement in passenger handling facilities and automation of facilities of Murtala Mohemmed International Airport MMIA, the group said "FAAN should give the company ultimatum and the necessary conducive environment to complete its mandate, so that the improvement witnessed in Lagos and Abuja can be replicated in the 2 airports of Portharcourt and Kano".

The group asked for the removal of top management staff of the FAAN if Nigeria is to meet the ICAO standards adding that the present managers of our airports are too deficient to meet the expectation of the people.