A LEAKED memo has shown why Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi’s request for a N3.7 billion security equipment along the Abuja-Kaduna rail track was rejected by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Speaking to newsmen during an inspection tour of the site of the attack on Tuesday, Amaechi had alleged that his request for the purchase of a security surveillance equipment for the rail track was rejected.
However, a leaked memo the Punch said it obtained explained that the FEC rejected the request because of doubts over the financial and technical worthiness of the company Amaechi recommended for the contract.
According to the memo, Amaechi recommended Mogjan Nigeria Limited, a firm incorporated on August 6, 2019 by Prince Godwin Momoh, Chioma Momoh and George Momoh, with just a turnover of N84.9 million.
He reportedly stated that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had reviewed the process of procurement and given a certificate of no objection for the contract.
The memo further disclosed that the minister told the meeting which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the contract would be funded from the N71.4.billion budget of the transportation ministry.
Minutes of the FEC meeting indicated that other ministers at the session questioned the capacity of the firm to deliver the contract.
It was also observed that Amaechi failed to provide proper details on the capabilities of the equipment.
From the minutes, participants at the meeting also observed that there were no public records to show that the company had executed such a project in the past. It was also not certain that the firm was capable of executing the one being recommended by Amaechi.
“Some members expressed concern about the quality of the memorandum as there was no description of the surveillance system concept note, brand name, country of manufacture or review by the previous user to enable them to make informed decisions.
“They stated that as sophisticated as the surveillance system was touted to be, there were no indications that it had been demonstrated and tested by the security technology agencies.
“They equally observed that all the projects were lumped together under one budget line, which they noted was not good enough as each rail line project was supposed to be captured in its individual budget line.”
When the vice president asked why the equipment was described in a generic term without a specific brand name and a comprehensive description of its functions, Amaechi was reported to have responded that it was just a pilot programme.
He reportedly added that if it worked, it would be replicated across the country.
It was further reported that he said the system would work in such a way that if the rail was tampered with, it would send signals to an observation platform.
The vice president was said to have directed that in view of the observations raised by council members, there was a need for the ministry to provide further description of the equipment, its brand name, manufacturer and how it worked,
“We had doubts about the capability of a company, which was formed less than two years prior and had no track record of handling a contract of N3.7 billion or a contract on surveillance systems.
“The company was also to be paid upfront. Our investigation pointed to a conflict of interest,” a source familiar with the meeting was quoted to have added.