Chairman interim report has not been released

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

Almost four months after the House of Representatives opened its probe into the award of contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of the railway, 25 contractors involved in the execution of the contracts worth over N1 trillion, are yet to respond to the summons of the ad hoc committee set up by the House.

Just two out of all 27 contractors have responded to the committee, and submitted memoranda. They are CCECC Nigeria Limited, and Lingo Nigeria Limited.
The Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma told THISDAY that the invitation letters to the 25 contractors were returned by the courier firm.
He however noted that the acting Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) must produce the contractors even though they were engaged by his sacked predecessor, Mr. Seyi Sijuwade.

He added that the addresses of the contractors were provided by the NRC.
The contractors who have failed to respond include Roughton Zeta-Tech Consortium, Esser West Africa Limited, CGGC Global Projects Nigeria Limited, Duluidas Nigeria Ltd, and 21 others.
The hearing continues Thursday.
THISDAY gathered that the former Minister of Transport, Mr. Isa Bio, and officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had been invited to appear before the ad hoc committee.

The DSS had carried out investigations into the award of the contracts.
Meanwhile the committee has denied the existence of any interim report, cited by a daily newspaper (not THISDAY), indicting the Ministry of Transport, President Goodluck Jonathan and others.
Agbonayinma, insisted that the publication was misleading and part of mounting pressure to stop the committee.

“It is never done in legislative practice to prepare an interim report, the norm is to submit such a report on the floor of the House for more legislative input” he said.
He reiterated that the committee and indeed the House, are not out to witch hunt any persons, but to ensure that Nigerians get value for the money expended for the rehabilitation of the sector.
“I will always emphasise the fact that we are not out to witch hunt anybody provided your hands are not greased with locomotive engine oil laced with fraud. But once we unearth any ugly development no matter how highly placed the individual is we must expose him,” he added.