The purchase of the two armoured vehicles by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) at the cost of N255.1million followed due process, Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu, the Director-General of the agency has said.
Akinkuotu said this on Friday while addressing a news conference in Abuja amid public outcry at the cost of the procurement of the two BMW 760 Li armoured vehicles.
Akinkuotu said the agency has taken delivery of the vehicles.
He told Journalists that the vehicles were available at the NCAA office for the media to see, adding that it was not the first time the agency had procured such “high security vehicles’’.
The director-general, however, did not disclose other such vehicles in the agency’s pool of cars and the cost of procurement when journalists asked her to mention more of such vehicles in the agency, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
He said that the purchase of the “operational vehicles’’ were duly captured in the 2013 appropriation of the agency.
“The cars are operational vehicles used in the varied operations of the NCAA, transporting the minister and aviation-related foreign dignitaries are part of this operation.
“It is internationally customary to convey our minister and these visiting dignitaries in security vehicles whenever they are in Nigeria.
“It must be noted that during such visitations, the security of members of delegations is the sole responsibility of the host country,’’ he said.
Akinkuotu said that he was “shell-shocked’’ that government information regarding the procurement of the two vehicles was obtained illegally and transmitted to the public medium in an “illegal manner’’.
“How you obtain information and how you put it in the public purview can actually be criminal,’’ he said.
He said that the agency had yet to ascertain the source of the leaked documents that revealed the details of the transactions.
According to him, the agency has issued a circular to all the staff, reminding them of the “confidentiality’’ of certain aspects of their work.
The circular read by the director-general in part said: “By the nature of our work and statutory provisions, certain levels of documents, processes and information are required for the successful day-to-day operation.
“For instance, the Civil Aviation Act makes specific provisions with respect to our obligation for confidentiality and restricted access to certain information that we procure in the conduct of our statutory functions.’’
Akinkuotu said that the agency was in the process of ascertaining the source of the leak and expressed concern that there might be other confidential information that had been obtained from the agency illegally.
“It is not fair for someone to obtain information illegally and we must accept that this is not the way to do it.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Joyce Nkemakolam, the Director Aerodrome Standards and Sadiku Ozigi, the Director of Finance of the agency attended the press conference.