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At Last, Senate Adopts BPE Probe Report

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... Asks Jonathan to Sack Onagoruwa
...Wants Folio Communications to Hands off Daily Times

....Revokes Sale of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja Sheraton

ABUJA, December 20, (THEWILL) – In a bold move Tuesday, the Nigerian Senate adopted the recommendations of its adhoc committee that probed the commercialization and privatization activities of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Tuesday.

The report had recommended the immediate removal of the Director General of BPE, Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa for gross incompetence in the management of the Bureau and for the illegal and fraudulent sale of five percent of Federal government residual shares in Eleme Petrochemicals Company amongst other transactions.

Also the senators asked that; “The NCP should rescind the sale of Daily Times of Nigeria to Folio Communications Limited in keeping with the court judgments in suit (1) FHC/L/CP/1328/2009, (2) FHC/L/CP/244/10, (3) FHC/L/CP/130/2010.

“The sales of assets of Daily Times Nigeria Plc by Folio Communications Limited and its directors should be investigated by anti-graft agencies and the sold assets recovered," the report specifically demanded.

The Senate also asked the buyers of Nicon Insurance to refund with interest N900 million to the Federal government being money paid by BPE on February 2007 as contribution for recapitalization with accrued interest.

The former Director General of BPE Dr. Julius Bala would also be investigated by anti graft agencies for giving approval to Folio Communication Limited for the illegal sale of assets of Daily Times Nigeria PLC.

The upper chamber also endorsed the recommendation to reprimand past DGs of BPE, especially the pioneer DG, Nasir el-Rufai, for contravening the Act and reporting directly to the President.

Furthermore, the NCP was asked to reverse the sale of Transcorp Hilton as the owners have not kept to the terms of agreement regarding the sale.

“The NCP should rescind the sale of Transcorp Hilton for failure of the core investor to deliver on the following fundamental provisions of the Share Purchase Agreement/Post Acquisition Plans. *Construction of a shopping mall within the hotel grounds. *Construction of short/long stay serviced apartments on the available land within the hotel premises to cater for corporate and similar clients whose needs may not be met by the typical hotel service structure.*Construction of state of the art office complex for short stay guests who may have need for office infrastructure outside their immediate offices and * development of an amusement emporium to add to the hospitality profile of the hotel.”

Senate President, David Mark apparently miffed by media reports that the Senate had backed down on debating the report said, “It is not the lot of the senate to implement the recommendations, it is left for the executive to implement the recommendations.

“I hope those who have been insinuating that the Senate has been trying to avoid discussing the report now know what we can do, nobody forced us to carry out investigation, we did it on our own and nobody made efforts to stampede us. There was no time the report was withdrawn because of conflict with the senators, the Senate is one.”

All the recommendations of the Ahmad Lawan led Committee were all approved by the Senators who had held a closed-door meeting before the consideration of report.

Recall that the Adhoc Committee on BPE presented its report to the Senate on 23rd November 23, 2011 after three months of investigations into the activities of the agency.