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Lawyers seek information on $1.9b Nigeria/Niger rail project

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Former 2nd Vice-President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Monday Ubani, and Lagos lawyer, John Nwokwu, have demanded details of the proposed Kano – the Republic of the Niger rail project from the Ministry of Transportation through the Freedom of Information Act request.

In an FOI request dated September 29 and addressed to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the duo stated that their demand was premised on the need for transparency and accountability.

Some of the information sought by them includes the cost of the project, contract papers, the firm handling it, the economic benefits of the project and where it is provided for in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

The lawyers also asked for the source of the fund for the contract as well as details of the deliberations and approval of the money by the National Assembly.

The letter signed by Joseph Igwe, reads: “Kindly provide the information to the best of your knowledge in the interest of transparency and openness, which you have been at the vanguard.

“In a public statement credited to you, you did disclose to the media the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano to Maradi rail line in Niger Republic.

“You are hereby specifically requested to make available to our clients or grant them access to the actual contract cost of the rail line cutting across Kano State in Nigeria through Maradi in Niger Republic and the termination of the track length.

“The awarded contract document(s), name of the firm and procedure of the award of the contract to the preferred firm.”According to Ubani and Nwokwu, the minister is at liberty to transfer the request to another agency of the government that is in the best position to respond to the inquiries in compliance with Section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 within three days.

They warned that if Amaechi fails to provide the information requested within the period stipulated by law, they would proceed against him in accordance with the provisions of the law.


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