The fund which was disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria through the aid of Bank of Industry was said to have been misappropriated, a situation that contributed to the collapse of the Aviation industry in Nigeria.
Both Chairmen of Committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma and Chukwuka Utazi in their opening speech reiterated the Senate’s commitment to unravel circumstances surrounding the non utilization of those loans, noting that those loans were intervention funds that would have salvaged the industry.
They noted that the Committee was not out to witch hunt any body, but the exercise was meant to rejuvenate the industry which was in line with the current administration.
The hearing which was well attended by stakeholders in the aviation industry including representative of the CBN governor, Mr. Mudashir Olaitan, who had a hectic day explaining how funds got to stakeholders without monitoring how it was utilized, added that N39.5 billion has so far been recovered.
Part of the issue that dominated hearing was the sum of N35 billion which Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim took from interventions funds on behalf of Air Nigeria which he acquired in 2010, but diverted the fund to NICON group.
Confirming the diversion of funds incident, former Director of Finance and Accounts of Air Nigeria, Mr John Nnorom revealed that Mr Jimoh Ibrahim was working with some commercial bank.
He explained that prior to getting the funds, he brought in a Bank as part of Directors of Air Nigeria and surprisingly, the very day that the sum of N35 billion hit the accounts of Air Nigeria it went out that same day.
“Distinguished Senators, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim knows what they were doing with the missing N35 billion Aviation intervention funds.”, Nnorom submitted.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi while responding to questions revealed that though the fund was released in the name of Aviation, it did not passed through the Ministry of Aviation and there was no record to show.
“Distinguished Committee Chairmen, members, my job here is to watch proceedings because I know nothing about about it and there is no record showing how the funds were disbursed,” Amaechi noted.