CHINESE RAIL PROJECT LOAN
As the disagreement between the House of Representatives and the Executive widen over terms of bilateral agreements entered while acquiring loan facilities, the Minister of Transport Rotimi Ameachi and the House Committee Loans and Treaties on Monday engaged in a heated argument over the Chinese Rail project loan.
It however took the intervention of the Speaker Hon. Femi Gbjiabimila who called for a 10 minutes break for tempers to calm down before the hearing made a head -way.
Chairman of the committee, Hon Osaai Nicholas Osaai had earlier said the investigative hearing had to do with issues relating to treaties and agreements The lawmaker noted that the executive out of desperation to collect loans, entered into bilateral agreements that are oblivous and obscure.
Hon. Osaai further disclosed that the hearing is aimed at ensuring that due diligence is taken before, during and after bilateral loans are taken by government , emphasizing that the House will not only follow the Chinese loans but will look at the over 500 bilateral agreements Nigeria has, with other countries adding that the probe is not targeted at the railway sector only.
The committee stated that over $33bn was signed by ministries of communication, Galaxy backbone and Transportation.
It said it was seeking clarification from both the implementing agencies, managers, and those who accessed the loan.
As the investigation continues the committee noted that the ministry of finance waved immunity clause of the agreement on the Lagos Ibadan project and wanted to know why?
Hon Ossai however called on key actors and stakeholders to stop the politicization of the probe process.
Also present at the hearing were the Ministers of power, FCT, Works and Housing amongst others.