The House of
Representatives, has queried the management of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for shutting out qualified construction companies from bidding for the modernisation of railways.
Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee Probing the Award of Railway Contracts from 2010 to 2014 Rep. Johnson Agbonayinman issued the query at its sitting in Abuja on Friday.
The committee had summoned the Bureau of Public Procurement to give reasons for shutting out some companies which it said were qualified but not allowed to take part in the bidding.
The chairman expressed concern as to why the bidding for same railway contract from 2010 to 2014 was limited to only two Chinese firms.
He identified the companies as China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC).
According to Agbonayinman, contract is for the rehabilitation of the Lagos – Kano rail line worth 8.3 billion dollars.
Chairman said that the Bureau of Public Procurement’s (BPP) report submitted to the committee showed that only CCECC and CRCC submitted bids for the project.
The committee also queried why a parent company, CRCC and its subsidiary CCECC; should bid for the same project and wondered whether such practice was allowed in China.
Agbonayinma requested CRCC and CCECC to provide their Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) application form and the list of Board of Directors.
The Chairman alleged that none of the Directors of CRCC signed the CAC application form submitted to the committee.
He stated that the allegations of corruption and usage of substandard materials for the project necessitated the investigation by the House.
He emphasised that the ongoing fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration could not be fought alone, hence the need for the collective support of Nigerians to ensure its success.
Agbonayinma stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to phase out corruption in Nigeria, irrespective of political, ethnic and religious affiliation.
A representative of the CRCC and CCECC, Mr Leo Kin denied that the companies were the only ones allowed to bid for the contract.
Kin said that Julius Berger and other companies also participated in the bidding for the contract.
The House of