Why I accumulated N30million bill in hotel – SEC DG

SEC DG, Arunma Oteh
SEC DG, Arunma Oteh

Not a few jaws dropped when the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, rationalized her eight-month long luxury lodging at Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja following her appointment two years ago.

At the ongoing public hearing on the activities of the Nigerian Capital Market,  members of the House Committee on Capital Market alleged that the director-general overstayed the official 28 days every public officer of her status is entitled to in a hotel, spending a whooping N30million on her five-star accommodation and an average of N85,000 on food per day.   

But on Thursday, Ms. Oteh, who accused the committee of denying her a fair hearing, said her long sojourn in the hotel was part of the terms and conditions offered in her contract on assumption of office.

 “When I arrived SEC on January 7, 2010, I was given the terms and conditions of my contract, which included options of getting rental allowance or a fully furnished and maintained official accommodation in a suitable location, befitting the status of DG,” Ms. Oteh said.

“The contract also talked about allowances in lieu of accommodation, including hotel accommodation for the first 28 days upon assumption of office and after. I preferred the option of having official accommodation. It also provided that hotel accommodation would continue to be provided after the first 28 days without limit until the official residence is ready for use.

“But, considering the difficulties with someone who doesn’t have a home in Abuja getting a home, when the SEC realized that it may have been inappropriate the contract that was given to me, I was given a rental allowance from the time I had stayed in a hotel , which I used to get accommodation . What I didn’t want was to live under the bridge as the apex regulator, or to ask somebody else to host me. And I think that it is not abnormal not to want to live under the bridge.”

Chairman of the committee, Hernan Hembe, had, on Thursday, tendered correspondences concerning a request for the Commission’s approval for the release of over N66million to rent a prime property located at Maitama, which Ms. Oteh reportedly indicated interest to have as her official residence.

The tastefully furnished five bedroom detached duplex, with four room guest chalet and two-living room boy’s quarters, each in suite with bath and WC, consists of a ground floor main and private lounges, dining room, kitchen, visitor’s toilet guest bedroom on the ground floor, as well as family lounge, master’s and madam’s bedrooms, and two other bedrooms in suite in the first floor.

Mr. Hembe said the property, which has suited kitchen, air conditioning system, stand-by generator, borehole, ample parking space as additional attractions, was offered for a two-year rent at N25million per annum (N50million), 10% agency fee(N5million), 5% legal fee (N2.5million), N5.7million withholding tax, and  N2.87million for VAT, excluding 10% agent’s professional fees and 5% legal fee.  

Though the facility was not eventually hired because the owner demanded more than two years rent, the lawmakers observed that asking the Commission to rent an official residence for Ms. Oteh , when she already received rental allowance contravened the provisions of government monetization policy.

Incensed by the startling revelations of the committee, Ms Oteh accused members, particularly the chairman, of an attempt to tarnish her reputation, regardless of her credentials, restating her allegations earlier that the committee demanded a bribe of N39million from the Commission to organize the probe.

Mr. Hembe, she said, also asked for a personal tip of N5million cash, which she turned down.  

“When I assumed duties, I was told I was entitled to four official vehicles – two saloons, one CRV and one jeep,” Ms. Oteh said. “But, today I am told I have one pool car in Abuja and Lagos. So, I have not even been given all the things that were in the terms and conditions of my contract I received from the SEC.

“Is it fair, Honourable Chairman, that you would try to damage my own reputation, because I want to serve my country, because I am fighting to sanitise the Nigerian capital market? Is it fair on me as a Nigerian? Is it fair on the apex regulator? Is it fair on the Nigerian capital market? Is it fair given what we have done in the last two years to restore investor confidence?

She queried the credibility of Mr. Hembe, saying  he was unfair to have insinuated her incompetence without consideration to her credentials as a 1984 first class computer science graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as well as the best graduating student in physical sciences in her year.

 

  • kayode adams

    Here, is my problem with Mrs DG just like every other officer of government who in time past has accused the legislature of a demand for financial inducement. why do day have to wait till they under some kind of heat before tell us about these demands. I really don’t get it?? are they really honest officers or is just a case of two sides of the same coin because in as much as they appear to be the ones on the right side of this divide their long silence raises a lot of questions.

  • Omoobaadeyemi

    Eating an average of N85,000 food daily in a country where the minimun wage to a worker with wife and children is N18,000 per month is bad. The woman is not having the fear of God as she boasting that nothing is wrong with what she has done. Resulting to blackmailing the Chairman of the Committee is not the solution, The question is did she spend N30m as Hotel accomodation in just eight (8) months?

  • treasure

    Is it fair as a woman to contribute to the rot of our country not considering that your children though not bred here will still have this country as their native land? is it fair as a Nigerian to consume a meal of 800,000 in a country where the populace live under the1-0-1 regime?…Please madam dont play on our emotions……Nothing is fair in this life thanks to greedy people like you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philemon-Adjekuko/670243850 Philemon Adjekuko

    Wake me up when all the talking is over and somebody is in hand cuffs. Neither Oteh nor the house committee is making any sense to me. What was Ms Oteh’s total package in her former place of work? What are the pecks of office for a similar post at the US security and exchange commission. Why would the house members be asking the commision for money while doing their statutory job which is also budgeted for?

  • Obe

    This people are just bunch of thieves. If this type of woman should become the president of our country, won”t she spend more than that on daily feeding? Before you know it, her children would be proud owners of private jets! Ole, Barawo, Amofia!!!

  • Tosin

    FYI, Nigeria is still giving multiple official vehicles to officials. Why? One should be enough.
    DG of SEC is an important position and she should be well compensated, but they needn’t overdo it. And people in less high-profile jobs have been offered all these perks. Again, they should turn down the excessive perks or Nigerians should insist…

  • Haiayi

    Nice ‘defence’ by the SEC chairperson, it further exposes the rot in the system. How the poor masses money is being squandered by a collective few in agreement. Unfortunately we have no chance to see the contract terms as declared by SEC chairperson. Its a shame that SEC does not have an official residence for its chairperson, this is a deliberate attempt to keep the looting going on. God save Nigeria and sent a messiah for the masses. The only credential for the SEC chairperson to flaunt is being a best graduating student and a first class student in computer in 1984, Is being a SEC chairperson your first appointment? This needs to be clarify, so that we know the calibre of the people that are managing our resources. It was not an intelligent argument

    • Ify

      Haiayi, It’s so easy to check out peoples credentials on line.Just google Arunma Oteh online and look at her biography:
      Arunma Oteh is of Nigerian/British nationality. She is from Abia State. She studied at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Nigeria, earning a first class honors degree in Computer Science. She went on to the Harvard Business School where she obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration. She co-edited the book, African Voices African Visions.
      Oteh worked for various institutions including the Harvard Institute for International Development and Centre Point Investments Limited of Nigeria in corporate finance, consulting, teaching and research. She joined the African Development Bank (ADB) in 1992. She was a Senior Investment Officer/Senior Capital Markets Officer from 1993 to 1997, then Division Manager Investments and Trading Room from 1997 to 2001 when she was appointed the Bank’s Group Treasurer responsible for fund raising and investments in major international capital markets. Oteh was appointed Vice-President for Corporate Management at the ADB in March 2006, responsible for Language Services, General Services and Procurement, Human Resources, and Information Management and Methods.
      Arunma Oteh became Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria in January 2010. In this positio’n she is responsible for regulation of Nigeria’s capital markets, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

  • Hard core

    She is playing on the emotions of Nigerians. She has observed that the Chairman of the committee is not intellectually suave. Would she pull this kind of stunt on Lawan Farouk? Though Diminutive in nature, he packs a lot of intelligence and clout. he applies tact, diplomacy and respect for the accused officials during the subsidy probe. He got most of the information by making the accused feel important.
    This Miss Oteh is unmarried and will for ever remain so. She has no respect for men and constituted authorities. What has making a 1st Class in Nsukka got to do with managing SEC well? In Other Climes, their Stock exchange has recovered 119% to 200% after the 2008 depression. In Nigeria we are at below 40%. What is she proud of? The Stock exchange is seen as 419 venture by Nigerians and foreigners alike. Abeg, make we look well . This woman’s audacity is not from her inherent strength of character. She must be a girlfriend to one of the Powers that be. She is too confrontational. Recall she came in after Ndi Okereke had issues with Dangote. Where did Yaradua get her from and through who was she head hunted to replace Ndidi? Nigerians lets start thinking.

  • Yomi

    All the parties involved dont have conscience and fear of God considering the level of poverty in the country.We all must rise against these idiots and heartless human beings.God will punish , expose and set confusion into their midst IJN.Amen

  • Willolamab

    What credential does she have that others have not have,she is a self ish Nigeria and distroyer of many destinies of many generation,can students of today say they enjoy the same type of education she claimed she achieved first class honours from.Stupid and Bastard claiming they are good citizens of Nigeria.She should come and see how self profess achivers behave to uplift their father’s land in a developed countries.Shame on you barawo,there are many more like you still in Govt.until they show you the way out.Many have done similar things in the past that have been carpeted ,this is how Nigeria is milked to the detriment of our poor citizens and the perpetual under development of our dear nation.Shame on her and any others like her .

  • Goldenheartfoundatn

    oteh is the most shameful and disgraceful female in govt office i have seen in recent years how can this woman be talking of spending 30million in just few months on all hotel accommodation disgracing her person didnt she see how akunyili conducted her self as a DG and made impact, she is a fool for coming out under a probe panel and making all those insinuations instead od telling us the truth on what is wrong with the capital market

  • S.K

    WHAT A SHAME

  • Beegee

    Hello PT, N850,000.00 or N85,000.00??…pls we need to be clear about these figures. Also, I believe comments with vulgar, dirty language should be censored!

    As for the men out there, sliming a woman just becos she is a woman, and one that knows her rights, I believe its about time u all moved on… go train ur female children to become worthwile citizens, even if you lost out in marrying women with heads. You mean becos Arunma has called a thief what he is, she is confrontational?.. but its ok for the men to slur her own image?!

  • spik4naija

    Ms.Oteh should not be crucified for living up to the term of her contract. Rather, questions should be posed to those who agreed to such a contract allowing her to spend N30million on accommodation and an average of N85,000 on food per day. This is the same problem we have with those who are appointed to handle the affairs of this country. They do not care about the suffering of Nigerians.

    It is sad that Ms. Oteh despite her exposure joined the clique of spoilers of Nigeria and only exposed the corrupt practices of Mr. Hembe only when she was under attack by the committee.

  • Enefaalongjohn

    What has this got to do with marriage and having ‘respect for men’? Please lets not lose sight of the issues