Sunday, December 6, 2015

Export-Import Bank of China Named in US$1Billion Corruption Scandal in Nigeria

Export-Import Bank of China Named in US$1Billion Corruption Scandal in Nigeria  

The House of Representatives of Nigeria has set up an Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate the alleged misappropriation of $1.1billion loan secured from Export-Import Bank of China by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan for the Abuja light rail project of the Federal Capital Territory Administration with a budget of US$500 million; the National Security Development System being handled by Galaxy Backbone Plc for US$100 million and US$500 million for the reconstruction of four airport terminals. The airport terminals are Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Kano.
The committee investigating the N1.69trillion Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) contract scam is set to summon the immediate past transport minister, Alhaji Umar Idris, and two former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairmen, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, and Bamanga Tukur, to explain their roles in the contract.
“The $841million loan secured from  Export-Import Bank of China and SURE-P were not properly documented as there was no board for almost two years and the ministry single handedly spearheaded the award of all the major contracts.

“The adhoc committee will ask all the stakeholders how come a contract that was so heavily funded could not be completed in 2013 the contract due date,” a House member preferring anonymity and privy to the investigations and planned summon disclosed yesterday.

Last Wednesday, the House resolved to investigate rail project rehabilitation from 2010 to 2014.

The resolution by the House followed a motion titled: “Need to Investigate the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Nigeria Railway Corporation on the Award of Contracts for Rehabilitation of Railway Tracks, Maintenance of Bridges and Procurement / Rehabilitation of Coaches and Locomotives From 2010 – 2014,” sponsored by Hon. Solomon Ahwinahwi.

“The level of performance with respect to the 463km Port-Harcourt – Markurdi rail track rehabilitation of the eastern line with the total sum of N19, 963, 752, 330 and out of which the NRC has paid N4, 017, 054, 841, 00, while SURE-P paid N5, 594, 021, 377 and only about 3km of ballast has been done with 400km left undone and the total money released so far is N9, 611, 076, 218.

“The Abuja – Kaduna rail project had 841 million US dollars as the project cost, out of which the China EXIM Bank provided a loan of 500 million US dollars with about 25 per cent of the project completed when the entire project was envisaged to be have been completed in 2014,” Ahwinahwi (Delta/PDP) reported in lead debates.

The lawmaker also said that the Lagos to Jebba track rehabilitation project was awarded at a contract sum of N12, 293. 390. 000 with the payments made so far at N11, 699. 999, 218 without any tangible work done adding that the same also goes for Jebba to Kano track rehabilitation which had a contract sum of N12, 169. 237. 337 with payments made to the tune of N10, 337. 023. 111.

He said that the investigation is important because with the huge funds sunk to upgrade the railway transport system there has been little to show for it as the locomotives and coaches running on the country’s tracks are still a relic of modern railway transport.
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