Obasanjo Ex President allegedly awarded Abuja rail project without design, MOU

Governor Mallam Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, who was then, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), signed the contract, based on an un-calculated estimate of $841.645,898m.

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Olusegun Obasanjo play

Olusegun Obasanjo

(Daily Trust)
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the Abuja rail project to a Chinese firm, without any design or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), reports say.

This was revealed to members of the Senate Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, by the Project Manager of the company, Chinese Civil Engineering And Construction Company (CCECC), Etim Abak.

Leadership reports that Abak said “The contract was awarded based on conceptual design and estimates were not properly done. There was no formal design submitted and rail bridges and crossover bridges were not captured in the contract.”

Punch also reports that Governor Mallam Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, who was then, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), signed the contract, based on an un-calculated estimate of $841.645,898m.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye said “Now, you have reduced the length of the standard gauge from 60.67km to 45.245km, meanwhile, there is no concomitant reduction if you juxtapose the length in kilometres and the reduction in terms of the cost.

“If we are to spend $841m for 60.67km and now you have reduced to 45.245km and the only reduction in terms of monetary value is from $841.6m to $823m and with a reduction of just about $17m, that to me is not commensurate to the reduction in terms of length.”

Adding that “The Federal Government has so far invested N31.5bn and another N7.6bn from the SURE-P fund and if you put these together, we have altogether N39.1bn invested in the rail project, leaving the balance of N113. 233,155.32.

“The N3bn proposed in the 2016 national budget for the FCT was for the rail project. If you look at this, I would want to say that I did a personal research and looked at rail construction of the same specifics, of the same technology across the globe and one cannot but complain that the cost of railway project in Nigeria is on a very high side.”

Melaye also wondered why the Federal Government took a loan of $500m from the  Exim Bank of China, adding that the project could be completed with the amount the government has put in.

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