Former Radio Nigeria Boss Risks Prosecution Over N4.419B Contract

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ABUJA, July 18, (THEWILL) - A former Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Eddie Iroh may be prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly paying N4.419 billion for uninstalled transmitters in 14 out of 32 stations that the corporation could not account for.

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has picked holes in the contract awarded during the tenure of the DG and ordered that the EFCC investigate him and the contractor that was awarded the contract.

The Hon. Mohammed Adamu led committee in its report on the findings of financial examination conducted on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) of government including the FRCN between 2003 and 2005 submitted to the House on July 30, 2009 and obtained by THEWILL frowned at the manner the FRCN management led by Eddie Iroh carried on in the award of contracts.

It also ordered that the contractor, Messrs Northgate Limited and others who participated in the award of the contract be invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help in the recovery of the said amount.

The committee recommended that "the sum of N46.181 million representing the total contract sum for the six fences that were not awarded and two studios that did not need fencing at all, should be refunded by the contractor, Messrs Northgate Limited, the former director general, Mr. Eddie Iroh and his management team."

It further recommend that "the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) should remit all outstanding Value Added Tax (VAT) which the Economic and Crimes Commission should be called in to recover the money. A report of the recovery effort thereafter should be sent to the committee."

In a related development, the committee has ordered the former Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. J.P. Egesi to return three vehicles he allegedly took away from the agency.

According to the committee, in the alternative, the value of the vehicles be converted to cash and the former Director General be made to pay.

Similarly, the committee frowned at what it calls "wasteful spending" of N79.289 million naira on corporate gifts items contrary to financial regulations.

According to the report, ‘the committee further noted that government agencies were gradually returning to the wasteful days of irresponsible expenditure of public funds on frivolities which were outlawed by the immediate past government and also resented by the present government.

"The Committee therefore recommends that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) or any other relevant authority should issue a fresh circular to warn against this trend and impose sanctions for future disobedience.