The purchase is being investigated by the House of Representatives.
The Lagos State Government has denied issuing a waiver to Coscharis Nigeria Limited for the importation of the two armoured BMW 760 for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. The controversial purchase of the cars were approved by Stella Oduah, the Minister of Aviation.
In a statement signed by Enitan Oshodi, Commissioner for Youths, Sports, and Social Development, the state government said that it made a formal request to the President for waiver of destination inspection charges and duty exemptions on 300 vehicles which were to be used for the National Sports Festival, NSF.
Based on the waiver, Coscharis Nigeria Limited, as the sponsor and vehicle provider for the festival, provided for the state government regular saloon cars, four wheel drives, and buses, Mr. Oshodi added.
“The Lagos State Government would therefore like to put it on record that documents exist to show the vehicles which were supplied and used during the 18th NSF. The vehicles requested from Coscharis who were Sponsors of the 18th NSF were limited to regular saloon cars, four wheel drive vehicles and buses to convey the 14,000 athletes and 10,000 officials who attended the games”, the statement said.
“It must be remembered that the National Sports Festival belongs to the Federal Government. The State hosts it on terms and conditions contained in written agreements.“One of the conditions was the provision of 300 vehicles for officials and athletes use. Because the State did not budget to buy vehicles it was mooted and the State agreed that Coscharis who had done this kind of transaction for the Federal Government before, should supply the vehicles for use only,” the statement added.
While appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, last week, Cosmas Maduka, Chief Executive Officer, Coscharis Nigeria Limited, stated that the cars were meant for Lagos State Government, and that the arrangement was a usual “sponsor practice” for an event like the sports festival. Mr. Maduka also said that during events, the company gives cars for use by government, in exchange for waivers that would be used for importing new ones as replacement.
“To the best of my knowledge, we followed all due process. We were interviewed by SSS. We were interviewed by the National Security Adviser. Every due process by law was followed. We do business with morality,” Mr. Maduka told the committee.
But in the statement that punctured the Coscharis’ boss claims, the Lagos State government said that it did not request for armoured cars for the sports festival.
“(Lagos) Government also wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that it did not request for any bulletproof vehicle BMW level 7 series or any other bulletproof vehicle for use at the games, nor was any such vehicle used in the hosting of the 18th NSF,” Mr. Oshodi said.“All that the State was required to do was to apply to the Federal Government for waiver which she duly did while also supplying fuel and drivers for the vehicles. The State was not involved in clearing the vehicles which was done through the Customs, a Federal Government Agency and Coscharis,” he added.
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