…Toyota Camry 2.5L bought in 2013 for N8.150m sold for N22,500
…Reps kick, say due process not followed
By Levinus Nwabughiogu, ABUJA
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee, PAC, has kicked against the selling off of government Plant, Property and Equipment, PPE, valued at over N2 billion by the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation for N13.618 million only.
The transaction was effected by Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.
Details of the auctions, according to a document sighted by Vanguard, included an 800 KVA Perkins Diesel generating set bought for an undisclosed amount by the agency in 2006 but was sold for N550,000 in 2018 after it was declared unserviceable; a CAT pay-loader bought for N70,000 in 1982 but sold for N40,000, while other earth moving equipment, such as bulldozers, graders and excavators were sold for between N350,000 and N550,000 as unserviceable items.
Managing Director of the agency, Olufemi Odumosu, who appeared before the committee, said the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, which approved the public auction of the equipment, also appointed the auctioneers.
Details of the auctions included an 800 KVA Perkins Diesel generating set bought for an undisclosed amount by the agency in 2006 but was sold for N550,000 in 2018 after it was declared unserviceable; a CAT Payloader bought for N70,000 Naira in 1982 sold for N40,000, while other earth moving equipment such as bulldozers, graders and escalators were sold for between N350,000 and N550,000 as unserviceable items.
Others include a Toyota Camry 2.5L bought in 2013 for N8.150 million and sold for N22,500; trimmers bought in 2004 and lawnmowers bought in 2004 sold for N2,000 and N6,500 respectively. There were also three Peugeot 504 station wagon vehicles bought at N2.9 million each but sold for N26,400 each.
Similarly, a Mistubushi canter lorry which cost the agency N8.55 million was also sold as scrap for N80,000, while a DAF (1000) Lorry bought for N5 million was sold for N90,000.
Also, a Toyota Hilux bought for N3.75 million was also sold for N187,500.
Testifying at the hearing, Odumosu said the PPE auction was carried out in the late 1970s and early 1980s even though the documents presented to the committee have attested to the fact that the oldest properties in the agency were acquired in 1980 while the newest was bought in 2013.
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Odumosu had in the course of the hearing attempted to withdraw the documents and replace them with another but failed as the committee refused.
In his submission dated 16th May 2022, the MD said, “your observation which is however noted was premised on the fact that at the time of disposal, the authority could not lay hands on all schedule of historical cost relating to these unserviceable items. “This primarily was because they (unserviceable items) were procured dating back to the late 1970s to early 1980s at the commencement of the operations of the authority spanning over a 35 to 40 year period.
“Meanwhile, most officers directly involved in the purchase had either died or retired or both. However, through frantic efforts made (in the past which has been resumed) at recalling relevant living retirees to assist in archival retrieval of records relating to the purchase of the items had yielded significant results”.
In his reaction, the chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Wole Oke, picked holes in the mode of selecting the auctioneers, insisting that the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, PPA, were breached, making the government lose revenue. The committee, therefore, asked the Minister of Water Resources and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry to appear before the Committee on June 9 to explain their role in the auction.