Reps uncover $33bn commercial contracts without clear cut financing arrangements

• Jonathan, Buhari get $2.8bn Chinese loan ― Amaechi

The House of Representatives, on Monday, uncovered over $33 billion commercial contracts signed by successive governments through Federal Ministry of Transportation.

Chairman, House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, Hon Ossai Nicholas Ossai, disclosed this during the resumed investigative hearing on the review of bilateral loan agreements and commercial contracts agreements by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Hon Ossai who frowned at the misconceptions and misgivings on the ongoing legislative scrutiny of various agreements alleged that public officials responsible for the facility are only desperate to obtain the loan without proper scrutiny of the agreements.

Hon Ossai said: “We have noticed from documents available to us that commercial contracts process signed by Federal Ministry of Transport alone within this is over $33 billion without any clear cut financing arrangements.

“Most of these commercial contracts agreements didn’t also have local content clauses and we’re witnessed by none properly designated and authorised officials.

There are observable issues relating to the procurement process, evidence of 15 per cent advanced payments, payment of management fees, drawdown process and remittances and a whole lot of other matters, which we are strongly poised to ask questions on and hope to get honest answers that will finer tune the current process, plan for possible negotiation of some these governments in order to serve Nigerians better.”

On his part, Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, who differed with the position of the Chairman of the Committee noted that the $1.6 billion for Lagos-Ibadan awarded by President Buhari and 1.8 billion signed by President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

According to him, out of the $1.6 billion rail contact, the Chinese government is to.provide $1.2 billion, adding that two training institutions are being built in Idu-Abuja and Daura-Katsina State from the facility.

He also challenged Hon Ossai to provide the documents on the $33 billion contracts as alluded to in his speech.

Details later…

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Reps uncover $33bn commercial contracts

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Reps uncover $33bn commercial contracts

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