Reps summon Transportation Minister, threaten to cancel concession arrangements

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The House of Representatives committee investigating public-private partnership and concessions arrangement by the federal government has summoned the Minister of Transportation, Said Umar Alkali, and the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Railway Corporation and other relevant organisations to appear in its next sitting.

The committee also has threatened to cancel all leases and concessions agreements domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Transport.

The chairman of the committee, Ademorin Kuye (APC, Lagos) who issued the threat in Abuja said the PPP and Concessions agreement of Nigeria Railway Corporation, (NRC) and the Railway Property Management Company Limited (RPMC) failed to comply with extant laws of the land.

Kuye who heads the House Committee on Public Assets spoke when a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Transport led by the Permanent Secretary, Pius Oteh appeared before the committee.

The Permanent Secretary had 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 comply with the extant laws.

Kuye said 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 person here,” he said.

The committee said the improper management of government assets through public-private partnerships 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 the organisation and not representative except such person comes with an authorisation letter from the CEO.

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