Saturday, July 31, 2021

Reps begin probe of N72.34bn eastern railway contract

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The House of Representatives has commenced a probe of the N72.34 billion contract for the rehabilitation of the 1443km Port Harcourt – Maiduguri section of the eastern railway line.

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The House ad-hoc committee probing the rail contract, at the investigative hearing into the status of the project, which was awarded in 2011, on Thursday, queried the award of a $3.2 billion fresh contract for the railway line by Federal Government, when the first contract still subsists.

The chairman of the panel, Abubakar Nalaraba expressed concerns that the project, which was designed to be completed within one year has lasted for over 10 years.

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Mr Nalaraba noted that allegations that the projects have been abandoned after huge sums have been paid to three different contractors in respect of the railway project.

”Only recently, and more than 10 years after the award of the contract for the rehabilitation of the eastern railway line, Mr. President performed a ceremony to flag a re-award of the contract to reconstruct the same eastern railway line, this time for about $3.2bn (that is, approximately about N1.3tr).

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“This, no doubt raises some concerns especially where there are allegations of abandonment of the project by 3 contractor even after payments have been made,” he stated.

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