The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory(FCT) has said former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the Abuja rail project in 2007 without design or Memorandum of Understanding, MoU. According to the chairman of the senate committee, Senator Dino Melaye, the then Minister of FCT and current governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, reportedly signed the contract based on uncalculated estimate.
Investigation by the committee revealed that the 60.67-kilometre rail contract was inflated by $10 million per kilometre even as the length was later reduced to 45 kilometres without refund of the cost for the 15.67 kilometres dropped. Following this discovery, the Senate Committee is demanding the refund of $195.878 million being the amount for the 15.67 kilometres cut out, from the Chinese firm, CCE, handling the project.
Answering questions from members of the senate committee, Project Manager of the CCE, Etim Abak said,“The contract was awarded based on conceptual design and estimates not properly done. There was no formal design submitted and rail bridges and crossover bridges were not captured in the contract”. Melaye further said the whole project was shrouded in fraud, noting that the contract sum was $841.645 million and project completion period was 48 months while the scope of work was 60.67km standard gauge, with double railway tracks and associated permanent way within FCT,