• Warming ways into Ortom’s Camp
As the new governor of Benue State takes his oath, he takes over a public and civil service that is standing on borrowed limbs. We will try to Xray the performance of certain MDA’s but we will start with the Benue Investment and Property Co. Ltd, a company 100% owned by the Benue State Government charged with;
A Management of State government owned shares;
B promotion of industrial and commercial activities
C management of some of the state government owned houses and lands.
BIPC as it is called came into lime light recently when the Company sold close to 10billion Naira worth of Dangote Cement shares, which had been managed by the company for decades. Until very recently and at the commissioning of the BIPC guest house and event center, the former governor of Benue State has denied knowledge of the sales.
At the said Commissioning, the former State governor Rt Hon. Gabriel Torwua Suswam said he was being criticized for authorizing the sales, however it was from the proceeds of the sale that BIPC was undertaking its projects. That statement is false as atiterkula has been investigating the activities of the Company for at least a year now and made certain discoveries;
1) The company is run under a water tight arrangement for fear that the activities of the former governor, Board of directors, and management staff will be exposed.
2) Sensitive areas of the Company are being manned by their cronies to ensure information is not leaked as a former acting managing Director is said to have sued the Company and government and used certain documents which were said to be leaked. So adequate measures have been taken to ensure that there are no leakages.
3) After the sales, it cannot be said that the Company was given any part of the proceeds as funds to reinvest. The funds were given straight to the State government and shared amongst the board of Directors and certain management staff. All projects embarked upon are funded by internally generated funds.
4) BIPC has started certain projects most of which are merely conduit pipes for siphoning the Company’s funds by 2 members of the Management staff and the Board of directors. And these projects include the development of the BIPC/Allview estate at Mabushi Abuja, the construction and development of the Karu estate, the building of a fence at Filandabo, a fence at the BIPC High Level Guest House etc. All these projects have been instituted to benefit largely, the individuals and not the Company.
Allveiw Nig. Ltd , a property development company that protects the interests of the former first lady of Benue state Arch Deaconess Yemisi Dooshima Suswam was contracted to provide funds while BIPC provides the land.
However the catch here is the sharing formula of proceeds and the value of the land which was done to benefit the first lady. And funds meant for logistics used by the Company went to the pockets of a select few.
Design Stages LTD, the contractor in charge of the construction of the estate in Karu and the BIPC hotel and event center North Bank was specially and carefully selected by the Board of Directors to their benefit. Design Stages is said to have been given a cheque of about N250 million to kick start work and close to N400 million Naira is said to have been expended on the BIPC hotel and event center which should house 27 rooms only.
The Managing Director CEO, is said to be the Architect that designed and constructed a magnificent house for Omadachi Okolobia the immediate past Commissioner of Finance, as appreciation. The Contractor is said to have given serious kick backs to the Brig. Gen. Atom kpera led Board for the contracts given to his Company.
Investigations have also revealed that tens of millions of Naira have been used to construct fences around BIPC properties in Makurdi and Abuja i.e Filindabo District at 30 million Naira and Industrial layout 10 Million Naira.
These fences are not merely for security but the funds used are inflated to service the greed of these board members and top Management staff. The reporter fails to understand why a profit oriented Company will use funds that can be used for investment purposes when it is cheaper to erect large sign posts as caveat emptors.
Even though the Company has in its employ lawyers and Architects, it contracts out signing of deeds for tens of millions and Architectural designs amounting to tens of millions to an architectural company O&H Tech, which fronts for the finance commissioner, for example approximately it was paid 25million Naira for the design of the Karu Estate and shopping mall. These contracts are carried out by people trusted to give returns to the top management staff and Board of Directors.
The Managing Director, Mrs. Awade Sheidu and Company Secretary, Bar. John Tyokegh, have turned the daily activities of the company into an ATM where they made daily withdrawals.
Until very recently it was the Company secretary that acted as the purchasing officer for the Company, he purchased everything for the Company and its subsidiaries including the BIPC oil and gas that was his major money spinner, he purchased PMS, Gas and other petroleum products at exorbitant rates.
He is said to have purchased the trucks for the oil and gas at close to 30 Million Naira each when the actual costs plus construction of the tanker buckets is said to be at less than 12 Million Naira.
The Managing Director is said to have knowledge of the Company Secretary’s activities but encourages him as he is a crony of the immediate past Governor. The Company Secretary, is said to have prehanded knowledge of what fate will befall them on assumption of the new government and is said to be shamelessly trying to penetrate the APC as a major stakeholder in Ukum is a friend. Periodically the Company Secretary carries out purchases at the Benue guest house in Kaduna, it is questionable if purchasing is one of his schedules of duty.
The Managing Director uses her direct siblings/ personal friends to garner contracts such as printing, maintenance and supplies.
Funds from BIPC were heavily used to finance political adventures as investigations reveal that the Managing Director was a heavy sponsor of the Tarzoor Campaign.
BIPC office was used and abused indiscrimmnately, as it was used as a meeting venue for PDP meetings. A day before the gubernatorial elections a meeting the PDP top notchers in Ukum met in BIPC to fine tune their strategies, they included the house of assembly member from Ukum, Paul Biam, Richard Gbande and several heads of Parastatals, several party stalwarts. Uptil date the company is one of the financiers of the Tarzoor legal battle as the Managing Director is known to have openly boasted to ensure the case ends in favour of “her brother”, Terhemen Tarzoor.
Please watch out for Expose on Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) and the Unknown Underhands.