Untamed Corruption Allegedly Rocks MINTS

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Controversial Board members allegedly wasted another N1.2billion naira on overseas ‘Harvard’ trip and training within months despite government prevailing embargo on ‘unnecessary’ foreign trips and trainings.

Another N12.1m allegedly moved to the account of Travels and Tours Company in a Branch of a new generation Bank {names and accounts details withheld} in Gwarimpa Branch for December travel expenses of Directors.

Machines acquired for INEC voting materials alleged to have plunged the company into huge debts running into billions of Naira.

Daily projected output of N5m far from being met as machines break down owing to prevailing corruption

Top Management staff allegedly divided and accusations of phone numbers of ‘the dissenting voices’ allegedly hacked.

Nigeria Printing and Minting Company, popular called MINT may soon be at the edge of total collapse and the workers risk losing their source of livelihood unless the prevailing impunity, corruption, frivolous and reckless spending in a government controlled company with dwindling fortunes are checked and the perpetrators charged.  According to an insider source who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, ‘MINTS is yet to overcome the notoriety and corruption that have consistently eroded its fortunes.  Imagine spending a whooping N1.2b on the so-called Harvard training by the management echelons when the least training has not been availed core technical staff’.  He quizzed.  ‘Unless, the current board is dissolved and allegations of corruptions against them looked into, MINTS may soon become a tale that was told.  I am one particular Nigerian who believes that the anti-corruption wind of the current President Mohammadu Buhari should sweep through MINTS in a view to prosecuting those found culpable for abuse of office, notoriety, impunity and untamed fleecing of government funds on grounds of overseas training, foreign seminars and workshop among others’.  Our source opined.

 

It would be recalled that foreign training, workshops and seminars have become a conduit of wasting government funds and incessant capital flight.  To this end, upon resumption of office, President Mohammadu Buhari placed embargo on foreign trainings by government workers and public servants.  Again, so many committees set up by the Federal Government has identified foreign trips and trainings as the broadest means of looting the treasury dry and recommended that the same experience and knowledge could be locally sought for and acquired, thereby reducing the weight of foreign training on the local currency.

 

Few months ago, the perennial corruption bedevilling MINTS was unravelled  and the findings were published in PowerSteering Magazine where the top management were alleged to be the relatives and associates of Godwin Emiefele, the current CBN governor.  MINT’s MD Salary is said to be far much higher than the Salary of the Nigerian President in a government controlled company that is still crawling to stand on its feet.  MINTS we reliably gather could be described as a conduit for self-enrichment, wastages and endemic corruption.

 

Astonishingly, in a company that is managing to keep afloat, a whooping N1.2billion was allegedly spent on Harvard Training in USA as travelling and training expenses by very few top management staff of MINT.  A privileged information that reached us confirmed that aside spending the said amount on travelling to USA by few management staff, another N12.1million early December 2015 found its way to a Travels and Tours Company account with a new generation bank, Gwarimpa  branch.

 

Currently, owing to machines malfunctioning which an insider report alleged was caused by the level of prevailing corruption in a company where Federal Government of Nigeria holds majority shares and stake, MINT today is unable to meet its daily production target of N5m.

 

It could be recalled that the former Managing Director of MINT is facing charges of alleged corruption which bordered on laundering millions of Dollars, Euros and other foreign currencies aside stuffing numerous local bank accounts with fictitious names.  It was alleged that the former MD Emmanuel Okoyomon used the names of his personal aids including drivers, house workers and personal secretary without their knowledge and consent to open different accounts and stuffed them with huge amount of money for himself.  He allegedly forged the driver’s licence of his personal driver one Mr Paul Macaulay with which he opened and stuffed money in an account with a new generation bank.  Aside that, allegedly stolen monies were traced by Interpol to the account of the wife of former MD of Mint in Canada. In FCMB alone, Okoyomon was said to have more than five different accounts in Naira, Pounds, Dollars and Euro hosting over N1.billion, £156,000, $346,220 and $431,600.  It was alleged that part of the money was a bribe received for facilitating the production of the N20 notes. Worried by the perennial corruption bedevilling MINT, former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 directed that the security agencies mainly EFCC and ICPC wade in, arrest and prosecute all those found culpable.

 

Efforts to get management led by the current MD, Joseph Ogbu to address the corruption allegations was received with ‘We are all innocent.  We know the people fighting to pull us down’.  They have wreaked more havoc in this establishment and we will soon open up if the that time comes’ without any vivid attempt to refute the allegations.

By Shedrack Light Iheoma.

Abuja.

 

About Alex Agbo

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