Daily Trust (Abuja)

29 January 2013

Nigeria: N3.2 Billion Rural Electrification Projects Tear Contractors Apart

Members of the Association of Rural Electrification Contractors of Nigeria (ARECON) are having a cold battle over tender of the N3.2billion new capital projects for rural communities.

In a rejoinder issued by the national chairman of the group, Alhaji Isah Badamosi and the national secretary, Engr. Noel Keyen, yesterday, the association noted that its attention was drawn to a story in a national daily - "Rural Electrification: Contractors seek stoppage of new contracts" credited to one Mr. Chinyere Obiako, who claimed to be the same association's national chairman.

According to the statement, Badamosi said Obiako was responding to the tender advert of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) for the new projects in November 2012.

The statement added that "the process was monitored by ARECON and adjudged satisfactory and successful bidders have since been contacted for their award letters."

While warning its members to desist from blackmailing the association, the statement said ARECON will not succumb to cheap propaganda, where members will use the name to blackmail it.

According to Badamasi and Kayen, the Federal Ministry of Power and the REA reserve the right to award new capital projects provided they are captured in the appropriate year's budget being an instrument of law.

The statement said the association advised all arms of government to complete all abandoned projects as an issue of national security.

About 1, 600 projects are believed to have been abandoned nationwide under the rural electrification project after the agency suspended operations over two years ago following the indictment of the then CEO of fraud.

However, the federal government has recently revived it with the appointment of a new CEO and appropriation of funds in the new budget.

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