House of Representatives yesterday said it would probe the activities of the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE-P, the Ministry of Transport, the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC and all contractors handling the rail project rehabilitation from 2010 to 2014.
The lower chamber, therefore, resolved to setup an ad hoc committee to carry out a thorough investigation in view of the huge amount involved in the rail rehabilitation.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Hon. Solomon Ahwinahwi on the ‘Need to Investigate the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Nigeria Railway Corporation on the Award of Contracts for Rehabilitation of Railway Tracks, Maintenance of Bridges and Procurement/ Rehabilitation of Coaches and Locomotives from 2010-2014’.
In his lead debate, Ahwinahwi informed his colleagues that the level of performance on the 463km Port-Harcourt-Markurdi rail track rehabilitation of the Eastern line had not been satisfactory.
He hinted that N19, 963, 752, 330 out of N4, 017, 054, 841, 00, had been paid by the NRC, adding that SURE-P had also paid N5, 594, 021, 377.
The legislator lamented that only 3km of ballast had been done, thus leaving 400km left undone.
Ahwinahwi noted that the Abuja-Kaduna rail project has a project cost of 841 million US dollars envisaged to be completed in 2014, but regretted that nothing concrete had happened despite that the China EXIM Bank had provided a loan of 500 million US dollars.
According to him, “The Abuja-Kaduna rail project had 841 million US dollars as the project cost, out of which the China EXIM Bank provided a loan of 500 million US dollars with about 25 per cent of the project completed when the entire project was envisaged to be have been completed in 2014.”
The lawmaker also said that the Lagos to Jebba track rehabilitation project was awarded at a contract sum of N12, 293. 390. 000 out of which N11, 699. 999, 218 had been paid without any tangible work done.
He said that the investigation had become imperative in view of the billions of funds that had been sunk to upgrade the railway transport system.
Ahwinahwi further expressed dismay that there had been little or nothing to show for all the billions, adding that the locomotives and coaches running on the nation’s tracks were still a relic of modern railway transport.
Meanwhile, the House on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Aviation (yet to be constituted) to investigate the quality of construction work done at the runway of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
This followed the adoption of a motion brought before the House by Hon. Toby Okechukwu.
In his submissions, Okechukwu described as shoddy the low quality of work done on the runway of the Enugu International Airport, named after a renowned Nigerian leader.
The lawmaker noted that the absence of navigational lighting system and other facilities at the Enugu Airport, which was reconstructed between, 2010 and 2011 at a cost of over N4.5 billion, was worrisome.


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