Minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi and House Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai clashed over Chinese loan agreements.
This was as the FG Minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi and House Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai clash over Chinese loan agreements.
Speaking at the investigative hearing on external loans and commercial agreements Nicholas Ossai disclosed that Nigeria’s loan agreement with China is governed by Chinese laws.
Ossai who noted that the Federal Government signed an Executive Order in 2014 providing guidelines on waiver of sovereign immunity during loan and commercial agreement negotiations, accused Nigerian officials of violating the order.
Ossai also accused government agencies of signing commercial agreements in billions of dollars before going to the Federal Executive Council for approval to execute them and also without attaching the negotiated loan and commercial contract agreements details.
He further revealed that they noticed from documents on commercial contracts’ prices signed by the Federal Ministry of Transportation alone were over $33bn “without any clear cut financing arrangements”, disclosed that there were issues relating to procurement process, evidences of 15 per cent advanced payments, payment of management fees, drawdown process and remittances.
Amaechi however denied claims of a $33bn contract in Ministry of Transportation. He said;
“In slight response to your speech earlier, I will repeat here that we need to be more patriotic than we are being.”
When interrupted by Ossai, he added;
“Mr Chairman, I have the right to speak. You invited me, I was once a member of the House (of Assembly in Rivers State). If you say Ministry of Transportation has a contract $33bn, we want to see it, because as the Minister of Transportation, the only contract awarded so far is $1.6bn contract for Lagos-Ibadan, which is under threat.
“Mr Chairman, the implication of having a contract of $33bn is that I will have a large number of workers. There is no $33bn contract in Ministry of Transportation. What we have is the $1.6bn contract awarded under President Buhari and the $800m contract awarded by Goodluck Jonathan.
“There are over 20,000 workers and only 560 of them are Chinese. We need to begin to say the truth. It is good to tell Nigerians the truth. This is very political and we will show all the contracts awarded by the PDP government.”
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He added that the probe was not about the ruling All Progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party as the controversial clauses and agreements had been existing before the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi and House Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai clash over Chinese loan agreements. pic.twitter.com/38vESwvWDx
— Lailasnews.com (@Lailasnews_com) August 18, 2020