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Why FG rejected Amaechi’s N3.7bn security proposal for Abuja-Kaduna railway

FG needed a description of how the system would work, and credibility of the contracting company.

A leaked memo revealed a proposal for security equipment along the Abuja-Kaduna rail track, which was presented to the Federal Executive Council by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was rejected.

According to the memo, obtained by Punch, during the FEC meeting of September 24, 2021, Amaechi recommended that a firm, Mogjan Nigeria Limited, be given the contract worth N3.7bn.

The firm, which was incorporated on August 6, 2019, by Prince Godwin Momoh, Chioma Momoh and George Momoh, had recorded a turnover of just N84.9m.

According to the memo, Ministers in the council questioned the capacity of the firm to deliver as well as the failure of Amaechi to provide proper detail on the capabilities of the equipment.

There was also a scanty record of the company’s past projects, which could prove that it was capable of executing such a project as a report by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, sighted by Punch, showed that the firm had no evidence of carrying out such a project in the past.

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“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 N3.7bn or a contract on surveillance systems. The company was also to be paid upfront. Our investigation pointed to a conflict of interest,” said a top Presidency official.

However, Amaechi in his presentation stated that the Bureau of Public Procurement had reviewed his plan and had given a certificate of no objection for the contract, adding that the project would be funded from the N71.4bn budget of the ministry.

According to the minutes of the FEC meeting, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Raised concerns as to whether the security installation would be replicated across all rail lines in the country and if there would be a provision for training to enable staff members to acquire knowledge and build capacity on the use of the surveillance system.

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The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who also presided over the FEC meeting in the absence of Muhammadu Buhari, pointed out that the solution system was “described in a generic term and whether it had a brand name, adding that the system, being a rail equipment monitoring solution, ought to have a brand name and a comprehensive description of its functions.”

The Vice-President also needed a description of how the system would work.

Amaechi, however, noted that it was just a pilot programme and if it worked, it would be replicated across the country. 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.

Osinbajo then requested, based on the raised concerns, that the ministry of transportation and its minister provide further description of the equipment, its brand name, manufacturer, and details on how exactly it worked.

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Recall that Amaechi had said he had predicted the Abuja-Kaduna train attack and presented a memo to FEC for the procurement of security equipment, but it was rejected.

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