Reps to Summon Anenih Over N20bn Road Contracts

Reps to Summon Anenih Over N20bn Road Contracts

Reps to Summon Anenih Over N20bn Road Contracts
House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts says a former Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, has some explanations to offer in the over N20bn road contracts awarded during his tenure as the Minister of Works.

The committee, which is reviewing the 2006 report of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, said the contracts were left unaccounted for.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, told reporters in Abuja on Sunday that the committee found it difficult to complete its investigations into the contracts without hearing from Anenih.

The lawmaker said, “We will formally invite Anenih to come and explain to us how about N20bn remained largely unaccounted for during his tenure as the Minister of Works.

“We want him to come so that we can co nclude our findings. If he does not come, it will make our findings inconclusive.

“The committee had summoned Anenih late last year over a N2.3bn contract in Nasarawa State, which was abandoned after the contractor allegedly collected N1.8bn.

The amount included a N552m initial payment to the contractor, Torino Internazionale Nigeria Limited, and another N1.3bn.

The N1.3bn, it was gathered, was awarded as damages to the contractor after the firm sued the Federal Government for terminating the failed contract.

The committee had queried Anenih’s role in the transaction, as it said the Federal Executive Council awarded the contract following a memo Anenih initiated.

However, rather than appear before the committee, the former minister wrote a letter to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, denying any complicity in the contract.

He also said he had not received any formal invitation from the committee.

But Olamilekan insisted on Sunday that the matter had not been laid to rest, adding that contracts worth over N20bn awarded under Anenih’s watch needed clarifications.

He explained that a formal letter of invitation would be written to the former PDP BoT chairman this week.

On the Nasarawa contract, Olamilekan said it was awarded in 2001.

He noted that the committee’s finding indicated that the ministry of works ignored warnings that the firm did not have the requisite technical competence to execute the contract.

Meanwhile, nine permanent secretaries in the water basin authorities are to face the committee this week to explain an expenditure of N993m.

Some of the officials are said to have been retired from service, but have continued in office authorising expenditure in breach of extant rules and regulations.

He added, “Are they authorising this expenditure in acting capacity? These men will give account of all the monies because some of them have been retired from service and they are still working.”

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