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BPP twisted $8.3bn rail contract bid to favour Chinese firms –Reps

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The House of Representatives on Friday questioned how contract bids for rehabilitation of railways by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) involved only two Chinese companies.

The lawmakers through the Ad hoc Committee Probing the Award of Railway Contracts from 2010 to 2014 at its sitting called on management of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to explain why qualified construction companies were shut out of the bidding process.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Johnson Agbonayinman who issued the query identified the two Chinese companies as China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC).

The committee questioned why bidding for same railway contract from 2010 to 2014 was limited to only the two Chinese firms, while other qualified companies were shut allowed to take part in the bidding.

Agbonayinman said the contract is for the rehabilitation of the Lagos – Kano rail line worth $8.3 billion, and that the report submitted by BPP to the committee showed that only CCECC and CRCC submitted bids for the project.

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The committee also questioned why a parent company, CRCC and its subsidiary CCECC; should bid for the same project.

Agbonayinma who requested both companies to provide their Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) application form and the list of Board of Directors, 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.

NAN reports that 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.

On his part, the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidel Okhiria, denied the corporation shut companies from bidding for the contract, adding that the contract was awarded by the Presidency in 2006 not the corporation.

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Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

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