Reps threaten to cancel transport ministry’s PPP, concessions over non-compliance

Reps threaten to cancel transport ministry’s PPP, concessions over non-compliance
Members of Nigeria's House of Representatives at a plenary

The House of Representatives Committee investigating Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Concessions programmes has threatened to cancel all leases and concessions in the Federal Ministry of Transport.

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Rep. Ademorin Kuye, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Assets, made this known when the delegation from the Federal Ministry of Transport, led by the Permanent Secretary, Pius Oteh, appeared before the committee in Abuja.

He stated that the PPP and concessions agreements of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) and the Railway Property Management Company Limited (RPMC) might be cancelled due to non-compliance with existing laws.

Oteh, however, informed the committee that the ministry has over 170 leases but was unable to provide the relevant documents required by the lawmakers to prove compliance with the existing laws.

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One of the required documents is the receipt of payment, which the lawmakers noted was not attached to the documents submitted by the ministry, disregarding their request.

The committee, in its resolution, invited the Minister of Transport, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Railway Corporation, and other relevant organizations to appear at their next sitting.

The chairman warned that the committee would not hesitate to invoke relevant constitutional provisions if any organization fails to honor 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 honor the invitation of this committee. We can issue an arrest warrant and direct the relevant security agencies to bring such a person here,” he said.

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He noted that improper management of government assets through Public-Private Partnership and Concessions has been one of the major challenges in infrastructure development.

It would be recalled that the House of Representatives, through its resolution in February, mandated the Committee on Public Assets and Special Duties to probe Public-Private Partnership initiatives and concession agreements across the country.

The committee observed that despite initiating several PPPs and concession programs, the outcomes have been mixed, with some projects stalled and others failing to yield anticipated results.

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