Reps Seek Ex-Ministers’ Trial Over $470m CCTV Contract
THREE former ministers are to face trial over the $470million Lagos and Abuja Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) contract – if the government accepts a committee’s recommendation.
The House of Representatives adhoc committee’s report indicted the ministers who served between 2010 and 2014 in the Ministry of Police Affairs, which handled the project during the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The ministers – Alhaji Adamu Waziri, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan – as well as a former Permanent Secretary of the defunct ministry, Mr. James Obeigbu, allegedly mismanaged funds meant for the installation of the cameras.
The chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ahmed Yerima, tabled the report yesterday, but its debate was put off till next week. This is the second time this week that the report has been stood down.
Among others, the report recommends that:
*the former ministers and officials of the defunct Ministry of Police Affairs (who served between 2010 and 2014) should be prosecuted over the rationale and motive for the removal and or disappearance of the operational and maintenance costs of the project from its initial proposals, as that singular act contributed to the non-performance of the network;
• Former Permanent Secretary of the defunct ministry Mr.James Obeigbu be prosecuted for deliberately refusing to release N3billion meant for network operations and maintenance;
• ZTE Nigeria Limited, which was awarded the contract, should refund the discrepancy amount certified after the audit exercise or supply equipment and spares of commensurate value as may be required by the ministry, otherwise, the figure should be deducted from the outstanding debt of US$20,247,172.00 certified by the Ministry of Police Affairs as being owed ZTE for running the network from January to June, 2013;
• A forensic audit of the outstanding debt being owed ZTE for running the system for several months should be conducted and the actual cost be verified and considered at the exchange rate of US dollar at that period (2013). Thus, the equivalent of the cost established after the verification in USD in year 2013, should be calculated and paid to ZTE to save the country the extra cost.
• The Executive should not privatise the National Public Security Communication-System (NPSCS). It should be ceded to the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which is the statutory body overseeing all security agencies; and that the Office of the NSA should set up a department that reports directly to the NSA. It will direct the activities of the NPSCS by utilising the trained engineers on the system from NIGCOMSAT and the Police to maintain the active elements, as well as, training of other security agencies to join the operations, and to supervise the activities of Managed Service Providers.
The House will next week debate the report.
The CCTV contract was awarded in 2008 for $470 million under the National Public Security Communications System (NPSCS).
Only 40 cameras were working, of the 1000 installed in Abuja. The contractors said they were in the process of re-activating the remaining 960, which they said were vandalised.
Despite claims by the contractor that the $470m CCTV project under the National Security Communications System (NPSCS) was completed and delivered to the Federal government in 2012, the Committee found out that only 40 cameras were functioning in Abuja.