Contract Fraud Rocks NCC As Vice Chairman, Aminu Maida Gets N200million Car, N93million Housing Allowance, Contractors Lament

There is staggering corruption going on presently at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) under the recently appointed Executive Vice Chairman, Aminu Maida, as officials of the agency insist on gasping kickbacks from contractors, SaharaReporters has gathered.

Top sources in the NCC told SaharaReporters on Friday that Maida, who recently assumed leadership of the commission, instead of clearing the rot in the system, seems to be at home with the corrupt practices, as his Chief of Staff, identified only as Mr Ibrahim is the “middleman” between him and the contractors.

SaharaReporters learnt that barely after his resumption, “a car was bought for N200million for the EVC and procurement was done in one day including award of contract and purchase” according to another authoritative source.

“He was also paid N93million in housing allowance, even before his confirmation.”

President Bola Tinubu on October 11 named Aminu Maida as the new Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC.

The appointment of Maida by Tinubu came after the exit of the controversial EVC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who has baggage of corruption allegations around his neck.

Maida was the Executive Director, Technology and Operations at Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS).

SaharaReporters also on November 16 reported that the Nigerian Senate approved the appointment of Maida as the NCC Executive Vice Chairman.

Some staff of the commission who are privy to details about the contract fraud going on called for an independent investigation to uncover the rot in the NCC.

“Our investigation showed that staff close to the EVC went around summoning contractors to provide funds that will be used for the lobbying of senators to clear the EVC.  The approval of many contractors who were successful in recent procurement tenders has been held back because they have not provided the kickbacks requested by NCC aides,” he said.

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“We are disappointed that a “young man” was expected to come in and clean up the NCC, but instead, the situation seems to have worsened. The allegations also extend to payments for completed work. Contractors are being asked for money before their payments can be processed.”

Meanwhile, according to one of the affected contractors, the corruption at the NCC would have a significant impact on the telecommunications industry in Nigeria and affect the costs of services to Nigerians because the contractors also paid through their nose.

He said, “This is a new low in NCC and some of us will call their bluff because we will not give them the money, we are not even sure if this young man is aware of this.”

“Aides of the EVC have been summoning contractors and demanding funds in exchange for favourable consideration in the bidding process. Those of us who refuse to comply with these demands are going to be denied contracts.”

Another NCC staff, speaking further with SaharaReporters, said, “Car was bought for N200million for the EVC and procurement was done in one day including award of contact and purchase. I have never seen where this money was appropriated for and if EFCC says we should produce “No Objection” from BPP, can they produce it?

“They tried changing the contractors selected during the tenders done before Danbatta left when they were advised not because it would constitute serious procurement crime, they now decided to conduct the Procurement Tenders Board but have refused to give contractors their letter of awards if they don’t commit to giving kickbacks and this is driven by the aide of EVC, Mr Ibrahim.”

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“The EVC was also paid N93million in housing allowance before his confirmation.”
According to another insider source, the EVC allegedly planned to give the Minister of Communications N1billion for his (minister’s) training programme.

“Where is the money coming from? Has it been appropriated for? Are we now cchub or a regulatory body?” he queried.

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