OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has queried management of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for shutting out other qualified construction companies and awarding contracts for the modernisation of railways to only Chinese firms.

The House adhoc Committee probing the award of railway contracts from 2010 to 2014 has accordingly summoned the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPE) to give reasons for that.

The committee expressed concern that bidding for same railway contract from 2010 to 2014 was limited to only two Chinese firms.

They are China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC). The contract involved is the rehabilitation of the Lagos – Kano rail line worth 8.3 billion dollars.

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Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinman (PDP, Edo), said that the BPP report submitted to the committee showed that only the two Chinese companies submitted bids for the project.

The lawmakers also queried why a parent company, CRCC and its subsidiary CCECC bidded for the same project, asking whether such practice was allowed in China.

Agbonayinma requested the Chinese companies to provide their Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) application forms and the list of Board of Directors.

The Chairman further alleged that none of the Directors of CRCC signed the CAC application forms which was submitted to it

He stated that the allegations of corruption and usage of substandard materials for the project necessitated the investigation by the House.

He emphasized that the the ongoing fight against corruption cannot be fought alone by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, hence called for the support of all Nigerians.

Answering questions, representative of the CRCC and CCECC, Mr. Leo Kin denied that they were the only companies allowed to bid for the contract.

According to Kin, Julius Berger and other companies also participated in the bidding for the contract.

On his part, Acting Managing Director of the NRC, Mr Fidel Okhiria said the contract was awarded by the presidency in 2006 and not the corporation.

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