Lawmakers grill presidential committee over controversial sale of Radio Nigeria building

Nigerian lawmakers have invited members of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Sale of Government Property, PIC, to explain why they allegedly sold the property below the market price, and without informing the owner,  the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.

This invitation is a follow-up to The ICIR report on the controversial sale of the six-storey building at No 45, Martins Street Lagos,

The ICIR, on September 6, reported that that the building evaluated at N1 billion was sold in 2010 by PIC at the rate of N100 million to Seamen Traders Nigeria Limited, a company belonging to the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.


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Director-General of FRCN Mansur Liman confirmed that the sale was undertaken without the knowledge of the corporation.

He added that the building was sold at N100 million to Seamen Traders Nigeria Limited.

However, the FRCN did not protest the sale of the building to Kalu’s company when it was finally discovered because the minister of information directed otherwise, Liman said.

“The Minister said it [the sale] should not be queried because it was sold by a committee constituted by the Federal Government.”

Drawing on the report by The ICIR, The House Committee on Abandoned Properties headed by Honourable Ademorin Kuye yesterday queried the PIC on the proprietary of selling government properties without due process.

Honourable Ademorin Kuye
Honourable Ademorin Kuye, representing Somolu Federal Constituency

While responding,  Executive Secretary of PIC Bala Samid said his committee has the mandate of the Federal Executive Council to sell no fewer than 25,000 government properties, including the FRSC building at  45 Martin Street, without contacting the owner of each building before the sale.

He referred the ad hoc committee of the House Representative to the Rotimi Oluwole Report that provided background to the sale of the government properties.

The committee, however, was unpersuaded by the explanation of Mr Samid.






     

     

    The members demanded to know the condition leading to the sale of the building, asking the secretary to provide the report of the Oluwole Commission, FEC circular mandating PIC and the public notice to their mandate.

    They also requested PIC to submit evidence of valuation of the property, proof of remittance to the CRF,  Certificate of Occupancy issued to the buyer and the day it was issued, as well as evidence of the process that led to the sale of the property.

    The committee was constituted by Honourable Shina Peller, representative of the Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Iwajowa/Kajola Federal Constituency, Oyo State; Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu representing Onitsha North-South Federal Constituency, Anambra State; and Hon. Adewale Oluyemi Taiwo, Ibarapa East/Ido, Oyo State.

    Others were Benjamin Kalu, Bende Federal Constituency, Abia State, and Hon Aliu Ademorin Kuye, Somolu Federal Constituency, Lagos.

    Ajibola Amzat, Managing Editor at The ICIR. He can be reached via [email protected]
    and @ajibolaamzat on Twitter.

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