I68 phantoms share N1tr-railway contract

Out of the 169 companies lucky to get the N1 trillion rail projects the House of Reps is investigating, only one, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, has showed up.

The House ad-hoc committee probing the deal said the contractors aren’t faceless, but they just refused to show up.

And for that reason, the authorities of the Nigeria Railway Corporation will be held responsible.

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“You gave them the job, so you should produce them. We are holding you responsible,” chairman of the committee, Johnson Agbonnayinman, told the NRC managing director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, on Wednesday.

When asked to produce details of the internally generated revenues between 2010 and 2014, Sijuwade said the monies were spent to fund the overhead expenditures for those years.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently said China was ready to help Nigeria reorganise its rail transport system by providing 85 percent of the counterpart funding needed.

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But Nigeria, under the last administration, was unable to keep its end of the bargain.

China’s Exim Bank had granted Nigeria $1.005 billion loan for constructing a standard rail system connecting Lagos and Kano.

The money was, however, diverted for other use. As of 2015, only $400 million of the loan was left with the finance ministry, according to the former permanent secretary of the transport ministry.

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However, Buhari said Beijing is still interested in giving a hand, and Nigeria will be ready this time.

 

 

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