House of Rep Directs Agencies to Halt Concession Pending Investigation

By Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The House of Representatives has issued a directive instructing all federal government agencies to halt ongoing concession processes pending the conclusion of its ongoing investigation.

This directive was conveyed by the Joint House Committee on Public Assets and Special Duties during its inaugural investigative hearing at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

Addressing the gathering, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Abbas Tajuden, emphasised the significance of the meeting in the House’s commitment to evaluating the effectiveness of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programmes and Concession Agreements spanning from 1999 to the present day.

He underscored the objective of the investigative hearing, which aims to meticulously assess the achievements, challenges, and overall impact of PPPs and concession agreements on public infrastructure and services.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of PPPs in development, the Speaker stressed the need for a comprehensive analysis to ensure their efficacy.

As we set off on this journey of investigation and evaluation, we should remain mindful of the public interest we are duty-bound to serve. Your insights and expertise are vital in shaping recommendations that will steer the course of future policies and practices. Hence, I encourage active involvement, constructive discourse, and a mutual commitment to transparency and accountability.
“Together, let us ensure that the outcomes of this hearing not only provide a comprehensive understanding of past performances but also lay a solid foundation for more effective and equitable Public Private Partnerships in the future,” he stated.

Transparent dialogue

He highlighted the hearing as an opportunity for transparent dialogue, insightful discussions, and collaborative efforts to address shortcomings and build on successes.

Chairing the Committee, Hon. Kabir Tukura Ibrahim directed agencies present at the meeting to suspend activities, expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of some agency submissions.

He urged agencies to provide detailed reports covering all necessary areas of the concession process, emphasising the importance of meeting required standards.

Echoing the concerns, co-chairman of the committee, Hon Ademure Kuye emphasised that the committee’s mandate is not to target individuals but to serve the interests of Nigerians.

During the session, Hon. Saidu Abdullahi (APC, Niger) proposed a motion to suspend all pending concession processes until the committee concludes its investigation, a resolution subsequently endorsed by the committee.

Notable agencies present at the hearing included the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), and Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Lateefah Ibrahim