By Emmanuel Ovuakporie
The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating abandoned communications contracts since 1999 will on Thursday grill officials of Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, Federal Ministry of Communications, Galaxy Blackbone, NigComSat, Nigeria Postal Service, Nipost and National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA over their alleged roles in the failed contracts.
Recall that the House had constituted the investigative panel to x-ray the failed contracts and bring the culprits to book.
The chairman of the committee Hon Chukwuma Umeoji during its inaugural hearing barely two ago had sent a warning signal to those involved to prepare as the committee will dig deep to fish out all those involved.
Umeoji had frowned at the quantum of abandoned projects across the country and vowed to bring those behind the failed projects to book in line with the anti-corruption posture of the present administration.
He explained that the mandate of the Ad-hoc Committee involved in the investigation of Federal Government’s abandoned projects from 1999 till date with a view to establishing the cost of award, period of award, state of completion and constraints inhibiting the completion of such projects.
According to him, as you are aware, Federal Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies,Parastatals, Commission’s and Boards awarded contracts for the execution of several capital projects to contractors since the return of the nation to democratic rule in 1999.
“Many of these projects have been abandoned even as many of them have received advanced payments of not less than 50% of the contract sum.
“Government has spent several billions of naira on such contracts without government and the people getting value for money spent so far.
“It is instructive to note that if the nation is to have a meaningful development in terms of infrastructure and social services, there is urgent need for a change in the manner of award of contracts for and the execution of capital projects”.
He had assured that: “our unshaken resolve must be to uphold public trust above any primordial sentiments and dispense fairness and justice in our dealings with every stakeholder in this regard.”
A source close to the committee on Wednesday told TNG that most of the communication contracts awarded by government did not follow due process.
The source who spoke under the condition of anonymity explained that’ the $470million failed CCTV contract was one of such contracts and this is abnormal.
“The most baffling part of it all is that the loan for the contract was given by the Chinese and the contract was executed by the Chinese.
TNG had done an exclusive piece on the CCTV contract scam last week unveiling all those that were involved in the scam.