The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has accused former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode of stealing the sum of N2bn meant for the repairs of Port Harcourt International Airport runway while in office.
Amaechi, made the allegation while featuring on Channels Television programme, “Hard Copy,” this the former Minister, however, denied, describing the claims as “absurd.”
According to Amaechi, a former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili made the payment as part of the state government’s contribution towards the success of the project.
He said, “Fani-Kayode, when he was Minister of Aviation, Dr Peter Odili’s government gave him N2billion naira to fix the Port Harcourt International Airport run way that was closed for two years, but he went away with the money.
“It’s not in the record of Avaiation, I’m the Minister of Transportation, I have that record it’s not there.
“There is no record anywhere that the Rivers State government gave the then Aviation Ministry N2bn to fix the Port Harcourt airport.”
Amaechi explained that the sum was part of Rivers State contribution to the repairs of the runway that had then collapsed.
The former Rivers State governor added, “We are not on the same level, He is not a character for me to talk about”.
Seeking to clarify the issue, the former Minister described the allegation as too absurd.”
Fani-Kayode said, “First and foremost, I wasn’t given any money by Rivers State Government, it was my predecessor office that was given a loan by Rivers State Government and the money was not paid to Aviation, it was paid to FAAN.
“Professor Aborishade was Minister at the time not me and the money was paid into FAAN’s account and about N350m was set out of it before I became Minister
“By the time I got into office, there was N1.6bn left in the FAAN account and they told me about it.”
On how the money was utilised, Fani-Kayode said, “We gave Julius Berger N1.5bn which was 50 per cent paid for the runway and they did the work, the runway was complete before I left office and was commissioned about a month after we left office, we left N132m in FAAN account.”