Thursday, 8 October 2015

House Of Reps To Investigate $470 Million CCTV Contract

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The House of Representatives on Thursday revisited the failed $470m Abuja, Lagos Closed Circuit Television Camera contracts, directing an Adhoc committee to probe the non-completion of the projects.

A Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation, won the contracts in 2010.
The House revisited the probe just days after the recent deadly bomb attacks in Nyanya and Kuje, two satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory.
The PUNCH recalls that the 7th House had investigated the same projects and produced a report but no action appeared to have been taken by the Federal Government.
But, two lawmakers, Mr. James Faleke and Mr. Adesegun Adekoya, jointly moved a fresh motion calling for another investigation on Thursday.

Adekoya, who led the debate, recalled that the aim of the CCTV contracts was to “facilitate real time communication between security agencies to enhance their capacities to monitor and nip in the bud any criminal act before it is committed.”
However, he expressed concern that the aim had been defeated with the failure of the firm to complete the installation of the cameras and make them functional.

Adekoya added that the contractual terms involved the down payment of 15 per cent ($70.5m) by the Federal government, while the Chinese EXIM Bank would pay the balance of 85 per cent ($399.5m) to be repaid within 10 years at the prevailing interest rate.
He also told the House that there were several other projects involving Nigeria and Chinese firms, which had suffered a similar setback.

He observed that the Chinese would usually ensure that loans given to Nigeria were tied to projects, which must be executed by Chinese companies.
To keep to such terms, the lawmaker noted that Nigeria’s laws and “due process in the award of contracts are shortchanged in the contract-bidding process.”
It was a motion which received the backing of both the majority and minority caucuses in the House.

The House Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, advised that the investigation should ask specific questions this time round.
Gbajabiamila added, “Who signed the contracts with ZTE? Was it the police or the Federal Capital Territory Administration?
“There has been a lot of buck-passing on these contracts? Did the department that award contracts have the power to sign on behalf of Nigeria?
“What is the role of private firms in security issues? Do we now farm out national security matters to private companies, foreign firms? There is so much to ask in this matter, which we must take seriously. “

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