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Reps To Probe N72.3 Billion Eastern Railway Contract

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The House of Representatives has decided to look into the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway rehabilitation contract that was awarded during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure.

Three companies involved in the project will be investigated by the ad hoc committee, which has yet to be formed: Messrs Esser Contracting and Industry Company (Turkey), CGGC Global Projects Nigeria Limited, and Lingo Nigeria Limited (in association with Strasky Husty and Partners Ltd of Czech).

This resolution came after Mzondu Bem (PDP, Benue) moved a motion on Wednesday.

The contract was awarded in 2011 for N72.36 billion, according to Mr Bem.

He said that the contractors had completed no work on the project after ten years.

Budgetary allocations for the project were made in 2010 and 2011, according to the lawmaker.

News outlets announced that Esser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated, a non-existent company linked to family members of the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s then-Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijwuade, was awarded a portion of the 463-kilometer Port Harcourt-Makurdi rehabilitation project.

However, the Buhari administration approved the renovation and reconstruction of the same project many years later.

The plant, which includes new branch lines and trans-shipment facilities, was authorized for $3.02 billion by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2020.

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