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Reps’ panel demands cancellation of centenary city project


Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

Summons NIGCOMSAT ex-boss over N17.4b building design, others

The House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday directed the immediate revocation of the Centenary City project due to lack of capacity of the firm that won the contract bid.

The panel asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to probe former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, over his role in the Centenary City project.

The lawmakers also demanded the probe of former Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and Messrs Boma Ozobia and Paul Oki over their roles in the promotion and selection of the Centenary City Plc as the preferred investor for the project worth $18 billion.

The Herman Hembe-led House committee, which probed allegations of misdeeds in the project at the plenary session presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, made the recommendation yesterday in Abuja while presenting its report to the House.

It directed the FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, to withdraw the right of occupancy and certificate of occupancy purportedly granted to Centenary City Plc on April 10, 2014.

The committee also directed that all the statutory rights of occupancy purportedly revoked by Mohammed in respect of the over 1,267 hectares of land covered by the project should be restored to the original owners.

Furthermore, the committee directed the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) through the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments to revoke the certificate of free trade zone granted the Centenary City Plc as a free zone entity (FZE).

Meanwhile, Former Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Mr. Ahmed Rufai, is to appear before the House Committee on Public Accounts to explain controversies surrounding the award of N17.4 billion contract for a building plan.

The committee claimed that Ahmed authorised full payment of the sum to a firm five years ago for the design of a house for NIGCOMSAT Ltd even when the plan was not actually prepared.

Chairman of the committee, Kingsley Chinda, said that in spite of several efforts by lawmakers to sight the said drawings, officials of the company have been unable to provide them.

Also yesterday, the House urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to direct commercial banks and other financial institutions to urgently address the several challenges confronting the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

In a motion by Hon. Joseph Edionwele, (PDP Edo), the lawmakers said the directive was necessary in ensuring that the machines were made functional to dispense cash accordingly.

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