Ex-NRC board chairmen deny involvement in railway contracts in Abuja

According to Tukur, the Procurement Act excluded the NRC Board from participating in the award of railway contracts.
A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, has absolved himself from the award of railway contracts while serving as the Board Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

Tukur made this known to the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee investigating the Ministry of Transport and the NRC over the award of railway contracts from 2010 to 2014.
According to Tukur, the Procurement Act excluded the NRC Board from participating in the award of railway contracts.

“The Board which I chaired was never involved in any contract award and was never told or invited to participate in issues of contract award or financial disbursement.’’
Turkur added that throughout his tenure as the NRC Board Chairman, no issue of contract award of any amount or tune was discussed or awarded by the board.

Another Chairman of the Board, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, said that he was not privileged to appoint any consultant or award contracts for the railway projects.
“We only played the role of inspection because the Procurement Act excluded the board from participating in any contract.’’

He expressed worry that the country’s railway transportation system had suffered neglect in spite of its critical role in the development of the economy.

Baraje, who was also a former National Chairman of PDP, said that more attention should be given to the 25-year railway modernisation plan to boost transportation in the country.

Also Sen. Ladan Shuni, another former Board Chairman of the NRC, wondered the essence of inaugurating a board that lacked the capacity to oversight the award of contracts.
Earlier, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, urged the ad hoc committee to ascertain the quality of contractors who won the contracts.

“In view of the billions of naira sunk into the railway project, the committee must ascertain the quality of contractors awarded these contracts.

“The jobs done must show value for the money.’’
He said that railway transportation was three times more efficient and environmentally friendly than other means of transportation.

The Chairman of the ad hoc Committee, Rep. Johnson Agbonayinma (PDP-Edo), said that Nigeria lost N450 billion annually due to the poor state of railway infrastructure.

The contributions of transport to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been on the downward trend due to the poor state of our rails, resulting to economic losses to the tune of N450 billion annually.

Da Khodex

Samuel Da Khodex is a Graphics and Web Developer in Nigeria, is a seasoned Computer Engineer, A Professional Blogger & Web Designer, He plays with various web technologies ranging from PHP, CSS5, CSS3, HTML 5, X-HTML, XML Content Management Systems etc. Reach him via @ 09099784140, 08134540801, Follow Him on Instagram & Twitter @KhodexGrafix

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