Following recent bomb attacks in Kuje and Nyanya suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which killed no fewer than 21 persons, the House of Representatives yesterday directed its Committees on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Public Safety and National Security to undertake a fresh investigation into the failure of the ZTE Corporation to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in Abuja and Lagos.
The lawmakers also urged the Federal, States and Local Governments to install, or reactivate CCTV cameras and other security gadgets in the FCT, State Capitals and major cities across the nation in a bid to guard against insecurity.
These resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored by Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid and Hon. Abiodun Faleke calling “for the Reactivation/Installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras in Abuja, State Capitals and Major Cities and Investigation of the Failure of ZTE Corporation to Complete the Contract of Installing the Cameras in Abuja and Lagos”.
Abdul-Majid expressed concern over the dormant state of the CCTV Cameras installed in Abuja by ZTE Corporation after it procured a contract in 2010 to do same in Lagos with both costing a whopping $470million.“By the contractual terms, Nigeria was required to make a down payment of 15 per cent, amounting to about $70.5 million, while the Chinese EXIM Bank was to provide the remaining 85 percent amounting to $399.5 million which Nigeria
was required to repay on a three percent interest rate within ten years at prevailing exchange rate”, Abdul-Majid said.
While regretting the failure of ZTE Corporation, a Chinese firm to complete the contract which would have gone a long way in containing security challenges in the country, Hon. Abdu-Majid expressed worries that each loan
secured from the Chinese Government is always tied to specific contracts for that project having to be awarded to Chinese companies thereby repatriating certain percentage of the sum loaned, including interest; thereby creating
employment for the Chinese and short-changing local Nigerian companies in the process.
House Majority leader, Hon,Femi Gbajabiamila argued that the subject matter came up on the floor of the 7th Assembly and was debated with resolutions passed, but nothing was done. “We had documents and paragraphs with damning revelations at that time.
When it relates to the security and welfare of this country, it’s our concern, and we have to start asking real questions. “A contract has been signed, who signed the contract. Who was the person responsible for the signing? At that time, they couldn’t say, and they were passing the bulk.
“There are many issues in this motion that we need to take very seriously. Had these things been in place, what happened in Abuja a few days ago would have been prevented or solved. “I don’t know whether or not this is an area that should be left to private companies or the federal government. But security is solely the responsibility of government”, Gbajabiamila said.
On his part, Minority leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, “I am aware that government had at a time obtained a loan facility from the Chinese government for the installation of these facilities and we didn’t have value for money. “Just the same way a loan was procured for the light rail system project and the contract given to a Chinese company and yet, no
progress seemed to be made. We need to ask pertinent questions with regards to what happened and how these funds were spent”, he said.
– Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja