Reps threaten to cancel NRC’s PPP arrangements, concessions, summons Transport Minister

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The House of Representatives Committee investigating the Public Private Partnership and Concessions programmes of the federal government has threatened to cancel all leases and concessions at the Ministry of Transport.

The committee said the PPP and Concessions agreement between the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, and the Railway Property Management Company Limited, RPMC, may be cancelled over non-compliance with extant laws.

Ademorin Kuye, Chairman, House Committee on Public Assets and Lead Chairman of the investigative committee made this known when the delegation from the Federal Ministry of Transport led by the Permanent Secretary, Pius Oteh appeared before them at the National Assembly.

Oteh told the committee that the ministry has over 170 leases but was unable to provide the relevant documents as required by the lawmakers to prove whether they are in compliance with the extant laws.

One of such required documents is the receipt of payment which the lawmakers said was not attached to the documents submitted by the ministry in disregard to their request.

The committee in its resolution invited the Minister of Transport, Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Railway Corporation and other relevant organisations to appear at their next sitting.

Kuye warned that the committee will not hesitate to invoke relevant constitutional provisions if any organisation fails to honour their invitation.

“As you may be aware, this committee will not hesitate to invoke the relevant constitutional provisions if any head of ministry, agency or department fails to honour the invitation of this committee.

“We can issue an arrest warrant and direct the relevant security agencies to bring such a person here,” he said.

The committee noted that improper management of government assets through public Private Partnership and Concessions has been one of the major challenges in infrastructure development.

The legislators directed the representatives of Nigerian Inland Waterways and Nigerian Port Authority who appeared before them, to come with their Chief Executive Officer in the next sitting. The lawmakers noted that they can only attend to the CEO of organisations and not representatives, except such persons come with an authorisation letter from the CEO.

The House of Representatives through its resolution in February this year mandated the committee on Public Assets and Special Duties to probe Public-Private Partnership initiatives and concession agreements across the country.

The House noted that despite initiating several PPPs and concession programmes, the outcomes have been mixed, with some projects stalled and others failing to yield anticipated results.

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