Vanguard (Lagos)

30 November 2012

Nigeria: Anenih Denies Culpability in Failed N2.3 Billion Road Contract

Erstwhile Minister of Works and Housing, Chief Tony Anenih, has distanced himself from impropriety in the failed N2.3 billion Nasarawa-Loko road project being investigated by the House of Representatives.

Anenih, in a letter to Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, expressed his disappointment that a member of the House could make negative imputations against him, Anenih, without adequate investigation.

Anenih's letter was upon news items last Tuesday that Anenih, who was Minister of Works and Housing between 1999 and 2002, had been summoned by the House Committee on Public Accounts to defend himself on the memo he presented to the Federal Executive Council recommending the award of the road contract to Torno Internationale Nigeria Ltd in 2001 despite what the committee alleged was the company's lack of technical competence.

Anenih, in the letter to Tambuwal, dated November 29, 2012, said the contract was awarded to the Italian firm after technical and financial appraisals that showed the capacity of the company which was at that time already executing similar jobs in other states.

He said: "A Technical Evaluation Committee made up of Senior Engineers in the Highways Department of the Ministry, in summary, found Torno's tender of N2,318,643,233.36 to be most desirable and recommended to the Honourable Minister that the contractor be considered for the award of the contract. Thereafter, the Honourable Minister forwarded a Memo to Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval.

"At its 36th meeting on Wednesday 5th September 2001, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) considered and approved the award of contract No 5092 for the reconstruction of Nasarawa - Loko road with Alushi Loop, to Messrs. Torno Internationale (Nig) Ltd at the contract sum of N2,318,643,233.36 with a completion period of eighteen (18) months. An award letter dated 14th September 2001 was thereafter written to Torno accordingly."

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