BASA fund: new allegations of corruption
The Minister of Aviation already denied accusations that the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) fund was utilised by the Federal Ministry of Aviation without approval from the relevant authorities. However, the members of the joint House and Senate Committee on Aviation are now accused of accepting a bribe for granting the Ministry of Aviation approval to draw money from the BASA fund for the airport renovation exercise. According to a Nigerian newspaper report:
The joint House and Senate Committee on Aviation, are alleged to have had their hands lubricated to approve the huge sum of money the Ministry of Aviation and its parastatals spent on the remodelling of 11 airport terminal buildings. A sum of $2 million was allegedly shared by the lawmakers for the approval granted to the Ministry of Aviation to draw from the now scandalous Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) fund. An online newswire report stated that the said sum of $1 million gratification was allegedly given to each of the committees, in order to fast track the approval of the BASA fund. Both committees had recently held series of closed-door meetings over the BASA funds without making public, details of their deliberations, a development that raises questions about the outcome of the meetings and their purpose.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Aviation has signed an MOU with Chinese investors to build new airport terminals at Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt in the coming year.