Lawmakers rattle Amaechi with fresh $33bn foreign contract scam

August 17, 2020
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The House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements probing bilateral loan agreements and commercial contracts agreements by Ministries, Departments and Agencies on Monday said it has discovered a $33bn contract scam by the Ministry of Transportation.

Chairman, House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, on Monday the Ministry of Transportation signed a commercial contract worth $33 billion dollars without any clear cut financial arrangement while most of the contracts agreement did not have local content clauses.

He said some of the loans collected by the government were signed even before the terms were negotiated.

Hon. Ossai, who frowned at the misconceptions and misgivings on the ongoing legislative scrutiny of various agreements, alleged that public officials’ response for the facility are only desperate to obtain the loan without proper scrutiny of the agreements.

He said “we have also noted comments on the facts that the National Assembly approved these loans, so why turn around to probe it now? Well, I remember stating in our last meeting here, that executive scrutiny and oversight by the legislature on government policies, programmes and projects can be done at the beginning, during implementation and at the end of implementation.

“We have also seen references made in the commercial contracts regarding BOQs but none of the commercial contracts agreements submitted to us especially by the Ministry of Transport have a single BOQ attachment.

He said further: “We have noticed from documents available to us that the commercial contracts process signed by the Federal Ministry of Transport alone within this is over $33 billion without any clear cut financing arrangements. Most of these commercial contracts agreements didn’t also have local content clauses and we’re witnessed by none properly designated and authorized officials.

But the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said there was no such contract existing in the Ministry as the only contract was the $1.6 billion loan for the Lagos/Ibadan rail project signed by the Buhari government and the about $800 million dollars loan signed by the Jonathan government.

He challenged the Committee to furnish his Ministry with details of the contract to enable them make necessary responses.

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