Members of the House of Representatives during plenary
An Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives has queried the award Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge railway project for the $3.2bn when there is a subsisting N72bn rehabilitation project on the same rail line.
The committee chaired by Abubakar Nalaraba issued the query at its investigative hearing in Abuja on Thursday.
The committee asked why the project, which was awarded since 2011, was abandoned after substantial payments had been made and the contracts had yet to be completed.
This, the lawmakers said, amounted to wastage of scarce resources.
The three companies awarded the contracts, namely CGGC Global Projects Nigeria Limited, Lingo Nigeria Limited and Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporation, as well as the Nigeria Railway Corporation appeared before the panel.
The Bureau of Public Procurement was, however, absent at the hearing.
The lawmakers also queried disparities in the reports submitted by the contractors and the NRC over the project.
The Director of Operations, NRC, Niyi Ali, said the first segment of the project from Port Harcourt to Makurdi was awarded to Eser Contracting Industry Company Incorporated for a sum of N19.63bn for a duration of 10 months.
The second segment was from Makurdi to Kuru, with a support line to Jos and another support line from Kafanchan to Kaduna was awarded to CGGC Global Projects Nigeria Limited at the sum of N24.4bn for a 10-month period.
The third segment was from Kuru to Maiduguri and this was awarded to Lingo Nigeria Limited at the sum of N23.7bn for 10 months also.
Ali said for Eser, the percentage of work completion was 88 per cent from 2011 till date, while 82 per cent of the payment had been made. For CGGC, he said the percentage of work completed was 90.4 per cent and payment percentage was 90.35.
For Lingo, he said, the percentage of work completion was 42.10 per cent, which was due to security issues. He said the company has got 42 per cent of their payment.
Ali said the project had to be abandoned and the NRC adopted an exit plan in 2020, following the award for the reconstruction, with additional lines, of the entire railway project by the Federal Executive Council.
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