The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has faulted an online news report which claimed the agency is being investigated by the House of Representatives over the fraudulent purchase of vehicles to the tune of N46 billion and N23 million which it claimed to have spent on stationery, describing the report as “fake and malicious”.
A statement by the agency’s deputy director, public relations and protocol, Solomon Nshem, titled “Re: Reps Investigates NOTAP DG, Ibrahim Over Fraudulent Purchase Of Vehicles Worth N46 Billion, N23 Million Stationery” and made available to journalists at the weekend described the report as “misleading”.
It read in part: “The attention of the management of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), an agency under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation(FMSTI), has been drawn to a recent report by an online news medium, capitalpost.com, alleging that the Federal House of Representatives is investigating the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim over the fraudulent purchase of vehicles worth N46billion and stationeries worth N23million.
“Ordinarily, NOTAP would not have responded to this allegation but to put the records straight, we wish to unequivocally state that the said vehicles were not purchased at N46 billion but [at] N46 million naira in 2021 for the smooth operation of the office.
“The vehicles purchased were a 2021 model Toyota Prado Landcruiser and a 2021 model Toyota Yaris which were captured under the 2021 project vehicle budget line and directly purchased by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP)’s accredited vendors after receiving certificates of ‘no objection’ from BPP.
“Most of the media personnel covering NOTAP’s activities under the present management led by Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim can attest to the fact that NOTAP is one of the most prudently managed government organizations – if not the most prudent in the country – and it beats one’s imagination to hear that an organisation with an exceptional reputation like NOTAP is spending N46billion to purchase vehicles.”
It added that Ibrahim was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 22, 2015, for a four-year tenure and reappointed for another four-year term by the president in October 2019 for “…his dedication to duty, commitment, hard work, loyalty, prudent management of resources, passion and outstanding contribution towards the development of science, technology and innovation (STI) not only in Nigeria but Africa”.
The statement asserted that it is on record that between 2015 and 2019, during Ibrahim’s first term in office, NOTAP saved the nation over N79.63billion that would have left Nigeria’s shores as capital flight through its strict regulation of foreign technology transfer agreements.
“This feat would have been impossible without the prudent, resourceful and highly disciplined leadership being provided by Ibrahim which is glaring with the financial savings to the national economy and building of a befitting office complex that is about 90 per cent completion. The project was conceptualised by his predecessors and with Ibrahim’s resourcefulness, the project is almost completed.
“This statement is, therefore, to put things in the right perspective and encourage the Nigerian public to disregard such malicious information and note that the financial books of NOTAP are transparent and if any Nigerian wishes to have first-hand information on any of our activities or projects, he or she can request through the provision of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011,” it added.