FEC orders buyers of seized drug-related properties to pay an additional N32m – The Sun Nigeria

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By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ordered buyers of two foreclosed properties in Lagos to pay the government the cost of the price prevailing in 2001 when they purchased them.

This equates to 18 million naira and 21 million naira (39 million) to be paid for the Lagos-based properties previously purchased for 5 million naira and 2 million naira (7 million naira) respectively.

Buyers must pay the outstanding balance of N32 million after 21 years, which is the prevailing price at the time.

The Minister of Public Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this revelation at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fashola, briefing State House correspondents, said the government was underpaid in the deal.

He said the properties, a four bedroom bungalow on Adeniyi Jones Lagos and a five bedroom duplex on Amadasun Street in GRA, Ikoyi, Lagos were seized by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the narcotics prosecution.

He said the government now wants buyers to pay the sum of 18 million naira for the bungalow and 20 million naira for the five-bedroom duplex, the cost at which they were assessed in 2001.

Fashola, who declined to disclose the identities of the narcotics buyers and dealer from whom the NDLEA confiscated the properties, said: “These were properties sold as a result of a narcotics prosecution by the NDLEA. So, these were proceeds of drug crimes, but the assessment process followed the NDLEA Act instead of the Financial Regulation Act. So basically these policy proposals have been approved by the government.

“The addresses of the properties, the first is a four bedroom bungalow with two boys bedrooms at Adeniyi Jones in Ikeja Lagos, and the other was a five bedroom duplex with two boys bedrooms at Amadasun Street, GRA Ikoyi, they have therefore sold for N5m and N2m respectively in 2001.

“At that time, the valuation we got was that if they had been properly valued, they should have been sold for N18 million and N20 million respectively,” the former Governor of Lagos explained.

He noted that the NDLEA Act at the time gave precedence to directives from the Ministry of Justice and that regulations were made in accordance with the powers under the act.

“But they ignored the public procurement law and financial regulations at the time.

“So we are now saying that in the future, financial regulation must take precedence. So these are all proposals that will come in the form of a new law when the Department of Finance is done with them, so you can’t have different regulations for the disposal of assets that have been confiscated by the government. They must be subject to a higher procedure,” he added.

The minister also said the council had approved a policy recommendation to extend the useful life of government assets such as factories, equipment, land, property and machinery.

The new recommendation, Fashola said, will ensure proper disposal while saving public expenditure.

He said: “The purpose of the policy memorandum was to seek better application of the government’s financial regulations, in particular the revised regulations of 2009 with regard to the process of valuation of plants, equipment, land, goods and machinery, and how they are disposed of. when they reach the end of their life.

“This policy is based on Executive Order 11 which enshrines maintenance as a conscious government policy. And we believe that because of this, public assets should last longer than the life cycle usually prescribed in existing financial regulations, such as four years and nine years for other categories of machinery.

“The other context behind the policy was also to help the government manage expenditure in the face of revenue challenges on certain elements of governance. For example, if you slow down the vehicle depreciation policy, your replacement rate also slows down.

He added that “with the new approval, the depreciation threshold for vehicles goes from four to six years.

“Plants and machinery would also have a 10-year depreciation period instead of the existing timeframe in the Financial Regulation.

“In addition, the ministry has proposed a strategic depreciation rate in percentage per year for vehicles with two-liter engines and those with more than two liters.”

To ensure proper accountability, Fashola said Ministers will now be fully involved in the procurement process as they now have to sign property valuation requests from their respective ministries, departments and agencies.

“We have also proposed that the heads of the ministry as accounting officers must sign property valuation applications now, particularly when agencies are trying to buy properties.

“We have seen that sometimes ministers are not even aware that proposals are being made for the acquisition of certain types of assets. Essentially, the board approved all of the policy recommendations. They have to go to the Ministry of Finance, which is in charge of establishing financial regulations in order to carry out the necessary regulations,” he added.

The Council has approved the sum of N28.1 billion for road augmentation and other infrastructure projects in the Wasa district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

FCT Minister Mohammed Bello explained that the increase was the result of inflation which exceeded the initial approval of 56 billion naira for the Wasa district projects.

It values ​​the total sum of the project at N85 billion with a completion period of 42 months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who also briefed, also revealed that the Council had approved the sum of N2.044 billion for the construction of roads and internal facilities at the gas hub in the state of Bayelsa.

The Minister added that the Port Harcourt refinery would be completed and resume production by December this year.

This came as the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, described as unnecessary and insensitive the recent disruption of traffic along the Lagos-Ibadan highway by members of the National Association Nigerian students.

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