Auction items 

Representatives summon Water Resources Minister as agency auctions off N2bn assets for N13.6m

The Federation Auditor General’s Office has questioned the management of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority for selling off government facilities, property and equipment valued at over N2 billion for a pittance of N13.618 million.

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives therefore summoned the Minister of Water Resources and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to explain the auction.

The committee grilled the director general of the OORBDA, Olufemi Odumosu, on Friday.

At the investigative hearing, Odumosu justified the surrender, telling the committee that the PPEs had been sold by the auctioneers appointed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, who also approved the auction.

Auction asset records showed that an 800 KVA Perkins diesel generator set purchased by OORBDA in 2006 for an undisclosed sum was sold for N550,000 in 2018 after being classified as ‘unusable’.

Additionally, a CAT payload loader purchased for N70,000 in 1982 was sold for N40,000, while other earth-moving equipment such as bulldozers, graders and escalators were sold for between N350,000 and N550. 000N as unusable items.

Also on the list is a 2.5L Toyota Camry purchased in 2013 for 8.150 million naira, with a book value of 1.222 million naira, which would have cost the agency 1.2 million naira to repair, was sold for 22,500 naira.

Similarly, trimmers purchased in 2004 and lawnmowers purchased in 2005 were sold for N2000 and N6500, respectively.

OORBDA also sold three Peugeot 504 station wagons purchased for N2.9 million each for N26,400 each, while a Mitsubishi Canter truck which cost the authority N8.55 million was sold as scrap for N80 000 naira, with a DAF truck (1000). bought for N5m auctioned for N90,000.

The authority also sold a Toyota Hilux van purchased for 3.75 million naira, which would have cost 187,500 naira to repair, for the same 187,500 naira.

Odumosu told the committee that the auction was transparent and carried out under the supervision of the ministry.

He said the EPPs up for auction dated back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, while documents presented to lawmakers showed the oldest of the properties were bought in 1980, while the newest in between them had been purchased in 2013.

While being grilled by lawmakers, Odumosu sought to remove the documents and replace them with another, a request lawmakers refused.

The DM had stated in its written communication dated May 16, 2022 that “your observation (of the committee) which is however noted was based on the fact that at the time of the assignment, the authority could not hand over all the cost schedules history relating to these unusable elements.

“It’s mainly because they (the unserviceable items) were purchased from the late 1970s to the early 1980s when the authority began operations spanning a period of 35 to 40 years.

“In the meantime, most of the officers directly involved in the purchase were either deceased, retired, or both. However, thanks to the frantic efforts made (in the past which have been repeated) to call back the living pensioners concerned to assist in the archival retrieval of the documents relating to the purchase of the items, they have yielded significant results.

The chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, however, criticized the auction while questioning the mode of selection of the auctioneers and the usurpation of the function of the board of directors of the OORBDA by the ministry.

Oke pointed out that the provisions of the Public Procurement Act were not adhered to when selling the items, leading to possible loss of revenue for the government.

Therefore, the committee has requested the Minister of Water Resources and the Permanent Secretary to appear on June 9, 2022 to explain their role in the auction.

The deputy chairman of the committee, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, also asked the authority to submit the valuation report carried out on the items before their sale, adding that the ministry’s letter to the auctioneers made it clear that the items should not be sold below the government. Evaluation.

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