House Of Reps To Probe ₦19b Rail Contract Awarded To Ghost Firm In 2011
House of Reps to probe ₦19b Port Harcourt-Makurdi rail way rehabilitation contract awarded to Ghost firm in 2011.
The House of Reps has agreed to probe a contract awarded to a Ghost firm in 2011 for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Makurdi section of the Eastern Rail Line valued at N19.2bn.
The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, moved a motion of urgent public importance at the plenary. Meanwhile, the House adopted the motion unanimously.
The motion was titled ‘Need to Investigate the N19.2 Billion Railway Rehabilitation Contract Awarded to Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated.’
Elumelu said, “The House notes that Eser Contracting and Industry Company got the contract. The contract was to rehabilitate the 463km Port Harcourt-Makurdi section of the Eastern Railway Line for N19.2bn in March 2011. The railway rehabilitation work has three sections namely 463km Port Harcourt-Makurdi track. Also, 1016km Makurdi-Kuru track and 640km Kuru-Maiduguri track, were the three sections awarded to three different companies.
“There are allegations that while carrying out due diligence on Eser Contracting and Industry Company, there was a discovery that the company was not in existence, and Corporate Affairs Commission did not duly register it.
This might have happened by issuing a Certificate of No Objection. The aim was to clear the way for the Railway Corporation to award a job of such magnitude to a company without any legal status.”
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The lawmaker stressed that the new company had continued dealing with the present-day government officials. However, it was without any form of questioning on the sudden change of name.
Elumelu said, “The House is disturbed that the contract is now considered failed and abandoned. Meanwhile, there are allegations that the government has gone far with plans to re-award the job to another company. This is with no certainties that anyone would be accountable for the regulatory failures and corporate fraud that characterised the charade.”
Adopting the motion, the House resolved to set up an ad hoc committee. The committee is to investigate the allegations and report back in four weeks.