Concerns of palpable wrongdoing have been raised over the recently approved N142.24 billion e-custom project by the Federal Executive CouncL
Wole Badmus, the National Coordinator Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria, FONGON, disclosed this on Thursday while briefing journalists in AbujaRecall that NGOLADITV had reported that FEC okayed the e-Customs modernization project at N142.24 billion despite controversy.
The project was awarded to Trade Modernization Project Ltd (TMPL). But, Badmus claimed that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed;
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN; and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali, are collaborating to deplete the Comprehensive Import Supervisor Scheme (CISS) and Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme accounts He said the contract approval controversy is some of the clear landmines for the incoming administration.
He also alleged that Ali is collaborating with the Executive Secretary of Buhari Support Group, Hajia Zainab Jummai Ajijola, using TMPL to siphon the nation’s commonwealth.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari, billed to exit the seat of power in less than 26 days, must come clean to Nigerians on why he allowed Ali to hijack the e-customs project in favour of TMPL.
“The fraudulent intention of the CG Customs further manifests in the fact that investigations at CAC show that Trade Modernisation Project Limited and Buhari Support Organization, BSO, are Siamese twins. Hameed Ali is the Chairman, while Hajia Zainab Jummai Ajijola is the Executive Secretary of BSO.
“The foregoing has exposed the intention of Hameed Ali, with the support of the AGF and HMOF, to deplete the CISS/NESS accounts with funds running into hundreds of billions of naira.
“These are clear landmines being laid in place for the incoming administration. The desperation to access the CISS/NESS accounts before the departure of the current administration is quite suspicious.
However, in an interview with NGOLADITV , CSC Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), described the claim as false and baseless.
According to him, the e-custom project, when actualized, would improve service delivery of Nigeria Customs.
“This is a distraction to the successful implementation of the e-customs project. The project would improve Nigeria’s customs service delivery and reduce corruption within the sector”.
“There is no truth in the claim”, he added.
Similarly, the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr Yunusa Abdullahi, said the allegation is untrue.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Umar Gwandu, has yet to respond to a text and call by NGOLADITV on Thursday.
The development comes amid some Nigerians’ concerns about the project’s hasty approval amounting to billions by the Buhari administration in the twilight of its exit