New facts have emerged on the controversy around the multi-billion Naira railway security contract, the minister of Transport Mr. Rotimi Ameachi blamed the Federal Executive Council for rejecting it, resulting in the recent bloody train attack.
Investigations showed that seven months after the Federal Executive Council has asked Amaechi to conduct due diligence and represent the memo proposing that an unknown company be approved to implement a multi-billion Naira Railway security contract, he is yet to do so.
This is also as investigation as shown that the Minister has refused to implement that FEC resolution and failed to re-present the memo which requested funding for the procurement of equipment to secure the Abuja-Kaduna railway to the Federal Executive Council after it was initially turned down.
According to a member of the FEC, since September 24, 2021, Amaechi is yet to reproduce the rejected memo to the FEC as requested by the Council at a meeting presided over by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
That was 7 months ago and at a rate of one FEC meeting per week, the Minister had 28 opportunities of FEC meetings to represent the memo. “But up to last week before the train attack, he simply abandoned the memo, only to be crying wolf now, ” a top FG source disclosed.
Recall that during an inspection of the Abuja-Kaduna train attacked by terrorists on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, Amaechi disclosed that he presented a memo to the FEC to procure security equipment to protect the rail from attacks, but it was turned down.
He said nothing to the media then about the shady nature of the company he was going to give the contract to neither did he inform the journalists with him at that Kaduna station that he has simply ignored the conclusion of FEC that the memo be redone properly and quickly represented for approval.
Media reports in Punch, The Cable, PremiumTimes and Sahara Reporters yesterday (Friday morning to be specific) have already detailed the problems with Amaechi’s questionable memo.
A source said, “FEC 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 N3.7billion or a contract on surveillance systems. The company was also to be paid upfront. There were serious concerns also about a conflict of interest when it was hinted that the owners of the bogus company, Mogjan Nigeria Limited, was a close confidant of the Minister with no experience whatsoever in security or technology-related assignments.”
The source revealed that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari in particular questioned the memo, with not one single member of the council speaking in favour. Everyone that spoke roundly questioned the memo severely. Indeed Amaechi was unhappy that the memo did not have any support whatsoever.
It was after the round of condemnations by FEC members that the VP who presided then directed the Transport Minister to go back and fix the issues raised and bring back the memo to the Council for reconsideration and approval.
A top FG official disclosed that “in the last 7 years, Amaechi has lost the trust of many of his colleagues in the Council and he has become a laughing stock for producing memos requesting approval for contracts with “dodgy owners and companies”.
This has gone on to irk the minister himself and he has openly tried to fight back angrily during FEC meetings.
But the source said each time, Amaechi could not prevail because the questions raised are so critical and revealed clear potential for bare-faced corruption, it was revealed