April 30, 2024

NCAA denies purchasing N250m official vehicle


…vows to take legal actions

By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has denied allegations that its Director General, DG, Capt. Chris Najomo, purchased a 2022 Toyota Landcruiser (70th Anniversary Edition) worth over N250m.

Recall an online report (Not Vanguard) accused the current DG of being enmeshed in alleged financial recklessness, violations of government procurement regulations, and gross abuse of office few months after appointment.

The report had claimed that an insider disclosed this information, also alleging that there was no appropriation approval by the National Assembly in the NCAA budget for the purchase of this particular vehicle.

The report also alleged that the acting director general also approved foreign training for 109 staff at a cost of over N1 billion within the week he assumed duty as acting DG.

But, reacting to this allegations during a press conference, on Monday, in Abuja, the Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NCAA, Mr. Michael Achimugu, described the report as a spurious and sponsored attempt to rubbish the agency.

This was even as the aviation agency threatened to sue the publisher of the online medium if the news story was not taken down.

He emphasized that as a responsible government agency, they follow strict procurement processes and guidelines.

He said: “The NCAA has not paid any dime not, not just 250 million naira, any amount of money for any vehicle anywhere in the world and you can quote me on that and I challenge this person to present any evidence and I will tender my resignation letter the same day and I will ask the DG to resign as well.

“I will say this with every confidence, the NCAA has not paid any money for any vehicle anywhere. To purchase anything here but go through a process. You can quote me on that. And I challenge this person to present evidence of these and I will tender my resignation, and not only that, I will ask for the DG’s resignation as well.

“I say this with every confidence that the NCAA has not paid any money for any vehicle anywhere. To purchase anything here you must go through a process— you can not escape it and we have not been through that process, how then did we purchase a vehicle worth N250m.

“Also that figure goes above the purview of the DG to approve by himself so how did this happen? How will you publish an investigative story without putting the evidence? So, I believe very strongly that it is a sponsored attempt to denigrate not only the person of the DG NCAA but everybody who is proud to work in NCAA.

“Also, most of this is premised on the statement made by the Minister that the Aviation Industry is corrupt, but when the Minister spoke about corruption what he meant is that there is systemic corruption in the industry he did not say Captain Chris Najomo is corrupt .