The Project Manager of a Chinese civil engineering and construction company, Etim Abak, on Monday told the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory that former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the Abuja Rail Project in 2007 without an engineering design or a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Minister of FCT and current governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, allegedly signed the $841.645,898m contract based on an uncalculated estimate.
The committee was also told that the contract, which was for 60.67-kilometre rail project, was inflated by $10m per km and that the length was later reduced to 45km without refund of the cost for the 15.67 km that was dropped off from the project.
The Senate committee, led by Dino Melaye, who were at the site of the project to carry out oversight functions, therefore, demanded the refund of $195,878,296.74 being the amount for the 15.67km that was cut out, from the Chinese firm handling the project.
Abak told senators that the contract was signed by the then FCT minister without design and MoU, and that it was carried out based on conceptual design.
Abak said, “The contract was awarded based on conceptual design and estimates were not properly done. There was no formal design submitted and rail bridges and crossover bridges were not captured in the contract.”
Melaye said his findings revealed that the rail project was inflated by over $10m per km and wondered why such an act was perpetrated by the handlers of the project.
The senator added that the contract sum was $841.645,898m and that the project completion period was 48 months while the scope of work was 60.67km standard gauge, with double railway tracks and associated permanent way within the FCT.
He wondered why the 60.67km project was later reduced to 45. 245km without reduction in its cost.
He said, “Now, you have reduced the length of the standard gauge from 60.67km to 45.2