The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has reportedly ordered construction giant CCECC Nigeria Limited to award contracts to some local companies he hand-picked, according to a report by Premium Times.
The order was given in violation of Nigeria’s procurement laws.
Mr Amaechi gave the directive to the Chinese construction company in a letter exclusively obtained by Premium Times, dated October 14, 2021.
The letter was signed on behalf of Mr Amaechi by J.A Yusuf, Director of Rail Transport Services at the transportation ministry.
The contracts are in connection with the covering the Lagos-Kano and Kaduna-Kano sections. According to the letter, the minister hand-picked the companies in accordance with what Mr Yusuf described as “Local Content Policy of the Nigerian government”.
Titled ‘Local Content Policy on Construction Materials and Equipment’, the ministry claimed that it received Expression of Interest from the various companies it listed in connection with the railway project. The ministry further directed the construction company to invite the hand-picked companies listed in the letter for contractual engagement.
Aside from submitting the list of hand-picked companies to the construction firm, Mr Amaechi, through the Ministry of Transportation, attached the letter a quotation showing the expense of purchasing materials in the local market. The quotation also listed all of the companies and the specification and unit of materials they are expected to supply for the construction company.
In addition, the quotation detailed the quantity of materials each company is expected to supply, as well as the ‘market prices’ of the materials. Quick checks conducted on the status of the companies showed that they are domiciled mostly in Kano, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.
Insiders at CCECC have expressed worry over the controversial letter, adding that it is in contravention of the nation’s procurement laws. A source told this newspaper that CCECC management is disturbed by the development, and has found it quite difficult to deal with.