How NRC, Contractors Stole N19.6bn – Reps | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How NRC, Contractors Stole N19.6bn – Reps

malabu, SNEPCo, House of Representatives, Budget; poverty
Posted: Sep 26, 2016 at 4:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ahmed Musa

Abuja – The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the N1.3 trillion rail contracts scam has unearthed how an unregistered company was awarded a N19.6 billion contract in 2011.

The committee, which expressed frustration in the resolve of 14 companies and agencies of government to shun its invitation, has also vowed to issue a bench warrant on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and four commercial banks that failed to submit details of monies transferred to companies involved in the rail contract scam.

Vital information obtained by Independent shows that the company, Eser Nig Ltd., was awarded the N19.6 billion contract in April 2011 when it had no records of incorporation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

According to an insider source privy to this development, it was three months after the contract had been secured, precisely in June, that the company now tendered its certificate of incorporation, leaving the committee to wonder how it was able to participate in the bid that won it the huge contract.

He said, “There was no evidence of tax payments and the company participated in the bidding process in April.

“As we speak, the company has not appeared in any of the committee’s investigative hearings since last year.

“We’ve sent mails to the address they gave the committee and several letters and till date no response.

“We don’t want to jump to the conclusion that probably it’s a ghost company until the committee exhausts all avenues but our patience is fast running out.

“It also appears as if the banks are concealing information of how the monies were paid and this is not good for democracy.”

The Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma-led ad hoc committee has also vowed to issue a bench warrant on all the banks that made payments to the various companies that executed the rail contracts without adequate proof of execution.

Independent further gathered that while the interim report of the ad hoc committee will be submitted within the next two weeks, the CBN and four commercial banks have deliberately refused to submit details of all the transaction till date.

“We requested for their statements concerning the companies involved but outside two banks that obliged us last week others declined.

“As we enter the last quarter of the year we don’t really have a choice than to get them arrested.

“The committee has issued several warnings to the banks since last March and we can’t continue waiting in vain.”

According to the source, the banks are yet to submit details of money transferred to the companies based on directives by the NRC and the CBN.

It would be recalled that the House constituted an ad hoc committee last November to look into all rail contracts of over N1 trillion from 2011 to 2014.

Johnson Agbonayinma, chairman of the committee, could not be reached for comment when he was contacted by our correspondent, citing official engagements outside Abuja.