google-site-verification: googlef8a55c976819afbd.html WHY AMAECHI DISRUPTED A "WELL PLANNED" CHINA TRIP - Soji Graphics


Soji Graphics

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Sunday, February 7, 2016


More clarity has been provided as to why the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, stopped two directors in his ministry and that of the Ministry of Finance from departing for China last week on their originally scheduled flight, causing a disruption in the first meeting slated for the Nigerian delegation and the China Exim Bank in Beijing.

The disruption led to a verbal exchange between Amaechi and his counterpart in the finance ministry, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who did not hide her displeasure over the fact that her directors missed the first meeting with the Exim Bank of China.

Ministry of Transportation sources told THISDAY yesterday that Amaechi and his team were about to depart for China from Abuja onboard Emirates Airline, when he discovered that the flight tickets of the directors from his ministry had been paid for by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), one of the interested contractors in the railway and airport rehabilitation projects.

Uncomfortable with the notion, the minister was said to have disapproved and asked his directors to disembark from the plane, insisting that they should not go on the trip on the bill of a contractor, who was an interested party in the business that was billed for discussions with the China Exim Bank.

“The minister was livid and could not comprehend why he would be flown on an official trip by an interested contractor. So the minister gave the order immediately for everyone to disembark from that flight,” one ministry source revealed.

While the directors from the transportation ministry where disembarking, Amaechi was said to have sighted two other directors from the Ministry of Finance on the plane and after making enquiries, discovered that the same contractor had paid for their trip too.
Angry over the fact that top civil servants were being induced by a contractor, Amaechi immediately asked the directors from the finance ministry to disembark also.

But in taking the decision, since the Ministry of Finance was not under his supervision, Amaechi was said to have called Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to seek his endorsement to prevent the finance directors from proceeding on the trip on sponsored tickets.
The vice-president was said to have given him the go ahead, reinforcing Amaechi’s position that nobody must go on the bill of any contractor.

The ministry source said Amaechi then asked his ministry to immediately bear the entire cost of the trip on Lufthansa Airways, including those of the finance directors, adding that a decision was taken that the finance ministry would reimburse the transportation ministry when the delegation returned from China.

Curiously, on getting to China, Amaechi was said to have discovered again that the same contractor had made provisions for their hotel reservations – another gesture the minister declined and asked everyone to be responsible for their hotel bills, while he sought the understanding of the hotel management to let them settle the bills after their stay.

But a furious Adeosun, who had no clue why Amaechi had delayed her directors from making the first meeting, had accosted her colleague in the transportation ministry in Beijing.

She was however said to have accepted his explanation after Amaechi informed her why their departure had to be delayed, more so given the fact that he had the express permission of the vice-president to do so.

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