The N2.billion Rot In The Nigerian Printing And Minting Company

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The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) stinks and there seems no end to the rot under the present administration of Mr. Ehi E. Okoyomon, the Managing Director and Chief Executive. This is as have gathered through a recent investigation.

Since the MD/CE took over the management of the Mint, series of sleazes and frauds have continued unabated. There was an approval for cars worth N400Million for the comfort of top management staff of NSPMC. Some of the staff had criticised the over one hundred percent inflated budget proposal to use the sum of N10.5 as the unit cost of each Toyota Corrola cars as against N5million. However, the Media Consultant to the Mint, Mr. Obi Aniele, described the allegation as a fabricated lie arguing that the budget which people were raising eyebrows was approved by the board of the company in 2003. Some staff members are already asking the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, and the anticorruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to wade into the matter. investigation found that annually, the Mint spends excess of about N1.2billion on the supply of diessel for the company's electric power generating set. In recent times, an insider revealed that there were sharp disagreements among the top management staff over the propriety and accountability of this outrageous excesses. Apparently, it was gathered that the disagreements, more than patriotic concern from those who opposed the spending spree, came from those who did not benefit from the contracts.

To gratify the ego and comfort of the MD, Mr. Okoyomon, N60million was approved for the purchase of just three utility cars for him. With this, the policy of monetisation was robbished.

There was an attempt to cover up a scandal in the company when the Mint had a brush with the Independent Corrupt Practice and other relate crimes Commission (ICPC). When the anticorruption agency invited some top management of the company to answer some questions that related to their account books, the Mint played a fast game. found that the ICPC officials were pated at the back with the sum of N10million to look away from the rots. This is different from millions of naira the MD has voted as press PR in order to ensure that the story should never see the light of the day.

In order to ensure that it properly covers its dirty deals and tracts, the Mint is currently incurring huge hotel bills for its Media Consultant, Mr. Obi Aniele, at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, where he has a permanent suite. The Mint, simply put, spoils Mr. Aniele with so much luxury. Aniele receives his guests at the cossy serenity of the hotel where business and other sundry deals are tidied up onbehalf of the Mint.

In order to justify the wanton looting of the Mint, Mr. Aniele has often defended the actions of his boss, Mr. Okoyomon, in the sleazy barzzar by arguing that under the administration of his boss, the company has been making stupendous profits. In his words, “since the inception of Mr. Ehi's tenure as the Managing Director of the Mint, the company has moved from the position of a mere comatose establishment with backlogs of debts to a high profile profit-making government establishment posting over three billion naira as annual profit after tax. So why should anybody begrudge a hard-working MD for trying to help himself a little? This is a campaign of calumny by a northern interest group within the corridors of power to smear the good reputation of the MD so as to remove him and replace him with one of their own.”

It is interesting to note that the tituler head of the Mint has serially evaded press interviews on this very matter. Most of the times, the responses you get from his GSM handset is that he has traveled overseas, or he is at a meeting, or any other flimsy excuses.

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