The house of representatives committee on finance is asking why the Abuja CCTV project failed despite a $460 million loan taken from China to fund the project.
At a budget defence session with the ministry of finance on Thursday, James Faleke, chairman of the committee, said the ministry should explain to Nigerians why the CCTV is not working.
“Before this administration, we collected some loans and the one that strikes me the most is the $460m for CCTV installation in Abuja,” he said.
“I want to know the position of this loan. I am sure we are paying back, but the CCTV is not working.
“Any time we take loan from China, the Chinese will come and do the job, they will bring all their equipment, the personnel and the goods and yet we do not have value for the money, especially that of the CCTV.
“Where are we? I need you to look into it and send us a memo on this particular project.”
While responding, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance said Nigeria is servicing the loan, but she was unable to provide an update on the CCTV project.
“We are servicing the loan, but on the project, we will have to ask the Federal Capital Territory Authority because the project was deployed in the FCT,” she said.
“I have no information on the status of the CCTV.
“The conditions of the loans that we take from China always will be that a Chinese company will provide infrastructure services.
“These are loans that are of three per cent, the rail lines are being rolled out, the Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan rails are all loans from China and are being executed by Chinese companies.”
In 2015, the house had directed an ad-hoc committee to probe the uncompleted projects, awarded to a Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation, in 2010 following the failure to act on the report of the previous probe panel of the 7th assembly.
The cameras were to be accompanied with 37 switch rooms, MW backbone, 37 coalition emergency response systems, 38 video conference sub-systems, 37 e-police systems, six emergency communication vehicles and 1.5 million lines for the subscription.
The contract involved a payment of 15 per cent by the Nigerian government and 85 per cent by the Chinese EXIM Bank to be repaid within 10 years at the prevailing interest rate.