Sunday, 30 October 2011

Senate summons FCT minister over awardof contracts in foreign currency•To summon Customs comptroller-generalover failure to submit staff list

Senate has summoned Minister of the Federal
Capital Territory (FCT) Administration,
Senator Bala Mohammed and the Due Process
Office over the award of some road contracts
in Abuja in foreign currency.
Similarly, Senate may also summon the
Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs
Service (NCS), Dikko Abdullahi, over his
refusal to submit the service’s staff nominal
roll showing a breakdown of its senior cadre of
staff and their states of origin.
The directive was handed down to Abdullahi
when the Federal Character and Inter-
Governmental Affairs Committee visited the
NCS on an oversight duty last Wednesday.
Abdullahi pledged to make the staff nominal
roll available to the committee the following
day. Sources close to the committee told Daily
Sun that “the NCS was given up to close of
work on Friday to submit the list.
“As at Friday evening, no list was received
from the NCS. The committee has two options
open to it: Summon the NCS comptroller-
general or get the consent of the Senate
president and issue a warrant of arrest on
The FCT minister is expected to explain why
70 percent of road contracts in the Idu
district of the capital territory were awarded
and paid for in euros with the remaining 30
percent awarded in naira. Senator
Mohammed is also expected to shed more light
on why the road contract was reviewed
upwards from N3.17 billion to N6.09 billion.
The Senator Smart Adeyemi-led FCT
committee discovered this during its oversight
duties on contracts for the development of
Idu Industrial District in Abuja at the
The original cost of the road project, it was
learnt, was N3.176 billion or 73 million euros
while the contract was revised upward to
N6.093 billion or 186 millon euros and amount
paid to date was N4.816 billion or 79 million
The committee learnt that N1.256 billion or
107 million euros was required to complete the
project with N794 million outstanding to be
paid to the contractors for work done or 20
million euros.
Following revelations that officials of
government colluded with foreign contractors
to dupe Nigeria in the signing of contracts,
the committee dropped hints that officials of
the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) and Independent
Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) would
henceforth accompany it when on oversight
In company of his Deputy, Senator Domingo
Obende, Adeyemi queried award of the
projects in foreign currency and subsequently
announced at the project site that the
committee would summon the FCT minister
and top management of the Federal Capital
Development Authority (FCDA).
Adeyemi, who, though commended the FCT
administration for the initiative for the
development of the Idu industrial area,
however, lamented that signing the contract
in foreign currency was not justifiable. He
told newsmen after the over three hours tour
of the project: “We are not happy that a
contract of such magnitude was signed in
foreign currency. It was uneconomical,
retrogressive and unpatriotic.“We shall ask
the minister and his officials to come and
explain why a contract worth over N1billion
and which was varied to over N6 billion could
be signed in foreign currency.
“Can any foreign company agree to sign
contracts in their countries in naira? The
action of the FCT government is not
acceptable to us and we are going to report
back to the Senate.“There are lots of
inexplicable things which the ministry will
have to explain to us. None of the contractors
could justify why more than 20 percent of the
materials they were using were imported to the
“There is no justification to import electric
poles when we can produce them here. If they
are not satisfied with the quality of the ones
produced here, we can improve on them. And
you cannot justify the variation of 70
percent of the contract sums,” Adeyemi

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