169 ghost companies registered as contractors with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), for projects valued at N1 trillion, were discovered by the House of Representatives AdHoc Committee on Failed Rail Contracts, during the investigative hearing at the National Assembly yesterday, Vanguard reports.
Surprisingly, none of the 169 companies invited by the adhoc committee had shown up. Chairman of the committee, Johnson Agbonnayinman, (Ikpoba/Okha federal constituency), expressed the importance of the contractors being invited, lamenting that efforts to reach them had so far proven fruitless, except for the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC which is the only company that responded to the committee’s letter.
“You are duty bound to produce the contractors. They are nowhere to be found; they are not faceless but yet they cannot be reached. You gave them the job, so you should produce them; we are holding you responsible.” Agbonnayinman told NRC.
The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation’s Managing Director, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, was asked by the adhoc committee to present the agency’s record of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), between 2010 and 2014, and explain what the money was used for.
Still on the N1 trillion rail contracts investigations, recall that, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi alongside the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, Seyi Sijuwade; former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Mohammed Bello Haliru; and former Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, were on Tuesday summoned to appear before the adhoc committee of the House of Representatives on failed rail contracts to defend their alleged role in the N1 trillion rail contract fraud.
Also, the former chairman of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Bello Haliru Mohammed, had denied signing any contract outside the law during his tenure from 2009 to 2011 at the House of Representatives investigative panel probing. Stating that while he was directed to sign contracts on behalf of the NRC on many occasions, the process and the decision that led to the award of any contract were taken by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).