Published On: Sat, Apr 29th, 2023

Onochie Rejects $15bn MoU Sign Between NDDC, US Firm, Says Its ‘Illegal’


LAGOS APRIL 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Niger Delta Development Company has described the $15b Memorandum of Understanding on a rail project reportedly signed by the Commission and a US firm, as “illegal”.

A statement on Friday by the Chairman, NDDC Governing Board, Lauretta Onochie, on Friday, indicated that the purported MoU with Atlanta Global Resources Inc. for the construction of rail project across the Niger Delta from Lagos to Calabar was done “without her knowledge and without the authorisation or consent of the board.

“Everything about this shady “MoU” is illegal”, she said.

Onochie, who listed reasons the MoU was declared illegal, said the act establishing the NDDC (Act No 6, of 2000), stated that the chairman of the board was solely vested with the power to sign MOUs with any organisation.

Again, she said Part II of the NDDC Act, Section 8, sub sections (a) and (e), among other provisions, specifically state inter Alia;

“The US company, Atlanta Global Resources Inc., has no expertise or experience in any form of construction, let alone railway construction. This company as a management and export consulting firm is without known notable directors,” the statement read.

Onochie noted that the signing of an MoU to the tune of $15b with such an organisation was not only suspected, but dubious.

The Federal Executive Council having recognised the importance of infrastructure in the Niger Delta region had awarded the contract for the same project in 2021 at the sum of $11.7bn for the construction of a mega railway from Lagos to Sagamu, Sagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin-City to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenogoa, Yenegoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa and to Ikom, Obudu Ranch with branch lines from Benin-City to Agbor, Ogwashi-Uku, Asaba, Onitsha and Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Sea Port.

“It is shocking that after the FEC, the highest ruling body in the country, had done this, that anyone would be signing an MoU on behalf of the NDDC and the Federal Government of Nigeria for the same project in 2023 without due process nor approval by the FEC in the twilight of the Muhammadu Buhari administration,” part of the statement read.


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