N255m Armoured Cars Scandal: Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala denies granting duty waiver for bullet proof cars

Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Abuja on Monday said no waiver was granted by her office for bullet-proof cars, exposing another lie being peddled in connection with the scandalous purchase of the cars by the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah.

Okonjo-Iweala, also the Coordinating Minister for Economy, said this at the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation investigating the two bullet-proof cars by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

She said the only waiver granted by her office was for the Lagos State Government to purchase 300 units of cars for Eko 2012 games.
“On June 20, 2012, Lagos State applied for a waiver for assorted vehicles of 300 units of cars and it was granted, but no waivers was granted for bullet-proof cars,’’ she said.
It would be recalled that the Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Manasa Jatau, told the committee that the waiver granted included the bullet-proof cars.

The minister said it was not proper to advice the committee on the issue of waivers as the matter was under investigation.
“It is not proper to give any advice on a matter that is under investigation. The right thing to do is to refer to the laws,’’ the minister said.
Okonjo-Iweala said she would limit herself to only the waiver issue as requested by the committee in its letter to her.

She said the president had powers under the common external tariffs policy which covered the whole of West Africa and Nigeria to give waivers.

Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, appeared before the committee on Oct.31, and she denied her involvement on the purchase of the cars.