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Reps summon 2 ex-interior ministers, others over $155bn CERPAC contracts

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Ministers
House of Representatives

By Tordue Salem— Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has invited two former Ministers of the Ministry of Interior, the Permanent Secretary and a retired Director of Legal Service, Mrs. Folakemi Adelore over the contract intimated in 1999 to establish Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Cards, (CERPAC) scheme by the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS put at $155 billion.

The scheme was initiated by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration with Continental Transfer Technique Ltd to replace the paper types in the 26 States of the Federation.

The Committee being led by Rep. Wole Oke (Osun-PDP) issued the summons during an investigative hearing into the audit query raised by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the handling of the Scheme.

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According to the management of a bank on the tripartite agreement from 2012 to 2020, the sales of the form were put at $1,000 per national and $400 for students with a collection of $155 billion to date.

The former government officials are to appear before the Committee on the audit query raised on the scheme while the bank is to show records of the amount generated from the scheme so far and the disbursement ratio.

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee, PAC, on Wednesday also quizzed the management of an insurance company for hours for insuring two grounded aircraft of the Nigeran Immigration Services.

The grounded 14 Seaters Dornier 228-101-5N-AUZ(FER) and 228-101-5N-AUW (FER) Aircraft were insured at the sum of N198.500 million with a renewal Premium of N13,409,800 paid.

The insurance cover was the 2015/2016 Insurance Period.

The committee was incensed when the Head, Technical Department of the insurance company told the panel that his Company only carried out the physical inspection on the two aircraft without technical inspection to determine their airworthiness, as required by Aviation regulations.

When the Committee demanded the Certificates of the airworthiness of the aircraft, he told the Committee that the pilot of the aircraft who was an employee of the Nigeran Immigration Services who was present during the physical inspection only confirmed the airworthiness to him verbally.

According to him, “to enable us to effect the Cover, we visited Dana Airways Premises, old Kaduna Airport, Kaduna State where the Aircraft were parked

“We carried out a physical inspection with the help of the pilot, Kiena who took us round the aircraft and confirmed to us that the aircraft are sir worthy and that he just came back from a border patrol with one of the aircraft.”

At this stage the members of the Committee became worried and expressed doubts over the claims of the representative of the Insurance Company, saying that it was unprofessional to have carried the policy without following due process.

The members insisted that with the submission, it was crystal clear that the Insurance Company received the N13.4 million premium under false pretence thereby defrauding the Federal Government of the amount.

In his ruling on the matter, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Oke set up a sub Committee to further investigate the matter during which the Committee would interact with the Nigeran Immigration Services, the Nigeran Civil Aviation Authority, and the Insurance underwriter.

He vowed that the Committee would do everything possible within its power to get to the bottom of the matter.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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