FCT To Buy N295M Spy Balloon
When the deal is sealed, the balloon, technically called Sky Star Tactical Aerostat System, will be launched into the skies of Abuja where it will hover covering a 6-kilometre-radius area, a defence contractor privy to the deal said.
The documents show that contract for the supply and installation of the balloon has been approved by the Bureau for Public Procurement and is now awaiting FCT Minister Bala Mohammed’s nod.
A letter from the FCTA to the contractors notified them of the BPP approval.
“I am directed to inform you that the Bureau for Public Procurement has reviewed the proposal and granted ‘No Objection’ for the procurement in the total sum of N295, 000,650.00,” said the letter, signed by Director, FCT Procurement Department, Ahmed Mohammed Joda.
“You are therefore requested to indicate in writing acceptance or otherwise of the offer within one week of the receipt of this letter. The terms of the contract will be discussed upon your acceptance of the certified sum.”
The letter, dated December 22, 2011, is titled “Re: Proposal for the Supply and Installation of Sky Star Aerial Surveillance Equipment (1) One No. Sky Star Tactitical System.”
However, an aggrieved defence contractor Alhaji Rabiu Hassan alleged that the contract has been inflated.
He told Daily Trust in Abuja that the surveillance balloon’s cost is $300,000 but is inflated to $1.9 million.
According to the contracts documents, the contract sum includes the costs of seaway or airworthy packing of the equipment and documentation.
Terms of the contract indicated that the final execution of the order is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Defence.
Attempts to get comments from the FCT ministry failed yesterday.
When our reporter asked for comments to this story from a spokesman for the ministry Sule Hazat, he said he would call our reporter back. But he did not do that and did not answer subsequent calls till the time of going to press last night.
Another spokesman for the ministry, Nosike Ogbuenyi, did not answer his calls.
‘FG procured faulty drones at N29bn’
On Sunday, defence contractor Rabiu Hassan also alleged that the Federal Government has procured two faulty unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at an inflated cost of $240 million from certain Israeli contractors.
He alleged that the drones are being kept in Benin.
But yesterday, a senior official in the office of the National Security Adviser told Daily Trust he was not aware of the contract.
Also the Nigerian Air Force which has the capability of handling UAVs said it was not part of the deal.
Hassan also on Sunday alleged that the Federal Government is hiring two Israeli spy satellites at an inflated cost of 145 million Euros (about N29.2). He said the actual cost of the satellites was put at $40 million.
The spy satellites have a 2,000-kilometre radius and are to cover the Nigerian airspace as well as the entire West African region, he alleged further.
Alhaji Rabiu Hassan, who is the chief executive of Hypertech (UK) Limited, said he had petitioned the Presidency and other public agencies on these contracts which he said have high security implications for Nigeria.