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Senate summons Finance Minister, NSIA MD contracts variation

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The Senate has summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, over variations in the cost of contracts.

In a letter, Chairman of the  Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, also extended the invitation to the Minister of Works, Raji Fashola, Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji and the contractors handling major federal highways in the country.

Adeola said some of the projects tagged Legacy Projects include Lagos – Ibadan Express Way, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja – Kano Expressway are being funded through a tripartite agreement between the ministries of Finance, Works and the NSIA.

said that the meeting was imperative to clear grey with regard to funding the road projects as well as variation in the cost of the projects. Senator Adeola said: “On the issue of funding, by virtue of the information at my disposal and by what the Finance Minister made me understand, is that you are playing critical roles by providing funds for the legacy projects.

“As of today, two years down the line, only $300m is in the books as having been spent on the projects, this gives cause for concern. “We believe that funding is critical to these projects. If the funding is not there,  there is no way we can achieve those time frame that you have set out for the completion of the projects.

“On that note, we would be bringing on board, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Works and Housing, the Managing Director of the NSIA, the Accountant General of the Federation, and the contractors who should be invited by the Minister of Works.

“I know there are variations already but we want to know the value and the scope of works that the variations cover. We want to know it because we don’t have it. That is why we want to know the actual value for the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, for the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano and for the second Niger bridge.”

 

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