Reps direct FG agencies to halt all concession process to allow for detail probe 

Elizabeth AtimeMarch 1, 20243 min

“Anything regarding concession should be suspended pending the outcome of everything that we are doing here. This goes to all the agencies.”

The House of Representatives has asked all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to suspend all concession processes they are involved in until its ongoing investigation is concluded.

The Joint House Committee on Public Assets and Special Duties, chaired by Rep. Kabir Tukura Ibrahim (APC, Kebbi) gave these directives during its inaugural meeting at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on Thursday.

This was the decision of the Committee as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) appeared before it.

The Committee, however, expressed displeasure that some government agencies failed to tender the full documents requested by the panel. Consequently, Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi (APC, Niger) moved a motion, saying the concession process should be suspended pending the investigation which was accepted by the lawmakers.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee said: “So, anything regarding this concession should be suspended pending the outcome of everything that we are doing here. This goes to all the agencies here present. 

“I have seen a submission of NAPTIP and it is very skeletal, is not informative, and does not carry what we require for us to work with. Please do a detailed report, let it encapsulate all of the necessary areas of the concession that you are going into. 

“This should not be accepted. It’s an insult to this committee to bring this submission before the House of Representatives. Please let’s do better.”

While declaring the investigative hearing open, Speaker Abbas Tajuden (APC, Kaduna) said the exercise marked a crucial milestone in the House’s dedication to appraise the efficacy of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programmes and Concession Agreements from 1999 till the present day.

Represented by his deputy, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, the speaker said the objective of the investigative hearing is explicit – to meticulously dissect the triumphs, challenges, and overall impact of PPPs and Concession agreements on our public infrastructure and services.

“While PPPs have indeed played a crucial role in propelling development, it is imperative that their effectiveness undergoes a comprehensive analysis. Therefore, this hearing presents a platform for transparent dialogue, insightful discussions, and collective efforts to rectify any shortcomings and build upon successes.

“As we set off on this journey of investigation and evaluation, we should remain mindful of the public interest we are duty-bound to serve. Your insights and expertise are vital in shaping recommendations that will steer the course of future policies and practices. Hence, I encourage active involvement, constructive discourse, and a mutual commitment to transparency and accountability.

“Together, let us ensure that the outcomes of this hearing not only provide a comprehensive understanding of past performances but also lay a solid foundation for more effective and equitable Public Private Partnerships in the future,” he added.

Elizabeth Atime

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