- As EFCC raids ex-VP Sambo’s office, seizes $50,000
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has remitted $140.8m (N42.22bn) into the Federation Account in five years,
The NIMASA Director General, Mr. Baba Jauro, who disclosed this to visiting members of the Senate Committee on oversight function, noting that the agency collected $270million revenue from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas vessels in 2015, however explained that the remittance was not inclusive of the N4,985,000,000 and $39,025,017 operating surplus for last year which was also remitted to the Federation Account.
Highlighting that the safe custody of the over N51 billion Cabotage Fund, domiciled with NIMASA to promote the development of indigenous commercial shipping capacity in international and coastal trade, is safe, to the Senate Committee headed by its Chairman, Senator Ahmed Sani, Baba Jauro indicated that so far, only the statutory revenue disbursements of the agency, which include a 25 per cent maritime fund and five per cent development for Maritime Academy, Oron had been undertaken.
Providing a breakdown, the NIMASA Arrowhead observed that N450million was remitted in 2011, N6, 441, 383, 583, 2012; N13, 833,431,883, 2013; N9,732,349,682 , 2014 and N11,770,978,562 in 2015.
Jauro said that the agency had registered no fewer than 1,975 vessels in its ship registry; adding that the agency was now, dutifully discharging all the functions it is statutorily saddled with, especially the responsibility of shipping development and regulatory matters relating to merchant shipping and seafarers.
He listed other responsibilities as including: administration and regulation of shipping licenses, administration, regulation and certification of seafarers ,establishment of maritime training and safety standards, regulation of safety of shipping as regards the construction of ships and navigation, provision of maritime search and rescue services
Also, the director general said that NIMASA provides direction and ensure compliance with vessels security measures, carry out air and coastal surveillance and control and prevent maritime pollution among others
In his response, Senator Sani noted that the committee was actually in the agency to perform its oversight function so as to ensure that government agencies manage their resources prudently in the best interest of Nigerians.
He maintained that the issue of corruption which has become a norm in the society must be eradicated, positing that the committee was in the agency to beam its searchlight into the activities of NIMASA in the past years; soliciting for full cooperation of the management, particularly with vital information that would guide them in performing their oversight functions.
In the meantime, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at the weekend, raided the office of former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, in Abuja.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that operatives of the commission stormed the office, located on Herbert Macauley Way in the Federal Capital Territory, on Saturday, apparently in connection with the ongoing investigation into the $1.2 billion arms procurement scandal, as the former number two citizen was allegedly indicted in the investigation.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that the operatives, during the operation, broke into the safe in the former vice-president’s office, where $50,000 was said to have been discovered alongside his declaration of assets form, a list containing his property, among other documents.
A source informed that Sambo had, in recent times, been moving documents from his house to the office, which operatives on his trail all the while had thought was money.
The source further stated that the operatives were disappointed with what they discovered in the office after they raided the place.
When contacted, Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told the Nigerian Tribune that he was not aware of the operation, saying that he was going to find out about it.
He, however, told the Nigerian Tribune that he was not able to confirm whether the office was raided or not.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Tribune has learnt that the commission has perfected plans to nab military officers President Muhammadu Buhari directed it to further investigate, following their refusal to honour invitation extended to them.
The move followed the arrest of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, last Wednesday night by operatives of the anti-graft commission.
His arrest came on the heels of the seal off of some properties belonging to some of the officers same day.
A source informed the Nigerian Tribune on Monday that plans were being concluded to move against other serving and retired Air Force and army officers recommended by an audit committee set up by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to probe arms procurements between 2007 and 2015.
Based on the recommendation, the presidential directive was given to EFCC to investigate former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Amosu and 15 other serving and retired Air Force and army officers, including two former Chiefs of Air Force, Air Marshall Dikko Umar and Amosu, specifically on their roles in fundamental breaches in the arms procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) within the eight-year period.
Twenty-one companies involved in one way or the other in the arms procurement deals and their directors were also lined up for further investigation by the anti-corruption body.
The source informed that the commission had promptly extended formal invitation to the affected individuals, companies and their directors, saying that having waited for them to voluntarily show up to answer questions on their roles in the arms scandal, the commission had no other choice but to force them to appear before it.
“The next thing to do naturally by the commission is to force these people to come and explain their roles in the arms procurement scandal. They have been invited to voluntarily come and explain, but it seems they do not want to do that willingly,” the source told the Nigerian Tribune on Monday.
Nigerian Tribune also reliably learnt on Monday that Air Marshal Amosu was still being kept in EFCC custody.
As of the time of filing this report, it was not sure if he had been given an administrative bail.
Additional report from Tribune