The aviation sector is enmeshed in yet another controversy following an alleged N390 million donation made to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by Afromedia, an outdoor advertising firm as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) contribution towards refurbishment of rest rooms at the Lagos international airport, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek can now report.
The appropriation of the funds has led to several allegations of financial impropriety against the airport managers leading to investigations by both the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), and the Police special anti-fraud unit (SFU).
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that following several petitions by individuals, Ibrahim Larmode, chairman of EFCC ordered investigation into the alleged fraud.
Mr. Akin Olukunle, general manager, public affairs of FAAN told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that the allegations were “fictitious, diversionary, untrue and unfounded.”
Afromedia, the outdoor advertising concessionaire to the airport authority had paid the money into the accounts of FAAN, but the petitioners alleged “non adherence to laid down public service due process processes”, and approvals from the supervising ministry of Aviation.
Olukunle denied any claims of fowl play in the deal. He noted that idle persons always looked for excuses to dent hardworking individuals.
While admitting that the funds were received from the adverting firm as a CSR contributory project, he denied its diversion for other purposes.
“Going by the records we have, nobody requested any frivolous money from the Afromedia, neither did the managing director approve the release of any money for other projects. It should however be noted that the company (Afromedia) was only extending its CSR gesture to FAAN,” said Olukunle.
He explained that due process was followed both in receiving and disbursement of funds and noted that fraud was never involved in the transaction.
“The way things are arranged is that the commercial and business department (CBD) of FAAN is responsible for levying Afromedia; and there is no connection whatsoever on the operations of FAAN and the so-called scam. We did not in anyway compromise in our operations. The records are there,” Olukunle enthused.