THERE are indications that the State Security Service (SSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are studying and investigation on the report of a ministerial committee that indicted some top officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) over N13 billion radar scam
Also, the Ministry of Aviation is currently studying the report on the alleged N13 billion fraud.
The report also alleged that components worth N4 billion for the project were not supplied, and that those installed never worked, thus flouting the terms of the contract and technical support services agreement (TSSA).
Meanwhile, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has sent a six-page petition to the National Assembly, with a view to stepping into the matter. The union called on the lawmakers to intervene in the matter to prevent it from being swept under the carpet like previous cases of fraud in the aviation industry.
Spokesman for the agency, Supo Atobatele, said: “It’s a technical report on TRACON project and it’s a technical issue. I can tell you that there is no any fraud in it. The amount mentioned is almost the entire amount dedicated for the project and if there was such fraud, it means the project was never executed.”
The petitioned titled, “Total radar coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) – Unresolved matters of national importance,” and signed by both the General Secretary of Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Frank Aiyede and the Acting General Secretary of NUATE, Abdul Kareem Motajo, implored the National Assembly to make sure that appropriate sanctions are meted out to whoever is found wanting in the alleged €65 million air safety tool.
The unions stated that it had earlier petitioned the Presidency in two separate letters, one of which is entitled, “Imminent system dysfunction at the NAMA – clarion call for intervention.” The duo stated that their main focus at this instance is on the total radar coverage of Nigeria, otherwise known as TRACON, which they described as a project conceived for the modernisation of Nigerian air traffic system, and comprises the provision of state-of-the-art modern surveillance system, including Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), integrated flight and radar data processing system, Euro cat 2000-C and other associated equipment at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports.
There are other stand-alone MSSR at five other locations like Talata Mafara, Maiduguri, Obubra and Ilorin. The initial contract sum was put at N66, 921, 374.26.
They noted that due to persistent irregularities in the implementation of the project through installation, operations and maintenance of the TRACON project, “our unions blew the whistle, calling the attention of appropriate agents of government, including the National Assembly to intervene and save Nigeria from ridicule.”
The duo asked why the, “present Managing Director of NAMA transferred the functions he was undertaking as General Manager (surveillance) to his office as a director and did not show interest in handing over to a General Manager almost two years after he was appointed as a director?
Other posers raised by NUATE and ATSSSAN are as follows:
• why was the Federal Government misled into entering an agreement for TRACON maintenance long before the warranty for most of the sites expired?
• it is questionable that the sum of €8,484,750 was remitted to Thales ATM for TRACON maintenance since December 2009, when the warranty at most sites had actually not expired until recently; and,
• it is also worrisome and questionable that there is no evidence of spares supplied to NAMA since the maintenance agreement came into effect in December 2009, in spite of the fact that so much has been released to Thales. It is clear that the project manager, Nnamdi Udoh compromised the principles of the TRACON support services agreement (TSSA) which has made it difficult for NAMA to derive maximum benefits.
They noted that it was necessary to obtain adequate clarification on why there are several lapses in the TRACON project as identified by the committee set up by the minister, despite the huge resources expended on the initial contract and subsequently the maintenance agreement.