The House of Representatives on has queried the current state of the $460m loan obtained from the China-EXIM bank for the installation of closed-circuit television cameras in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The House Committee on Finance asked why the CCTV cameras are not working years after the loan was obtained. The issue was raised when the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Budget, Aisha Ahmed, appeared before the lawmakers in Abuja on Thursday to defend the 2020 budget proposed by the ministry. The fund for the project was to be taken out of a $600m financing portfolio, which was secured as a soft credit loan, with interest repayable in 10 years, after an initial 10 years of grace.
The contract was awarded to a Chinese firm, ZTE Communications in 2010. The then Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, had led a delegation to Beijing, China, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the deal. Aganga was accompanied by the then Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri; and the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim.
Chairman of the committee, James Faleke, who asked the minister to explain the circumstances surrounding the loan and the project, stated that Nigeria must get value for its money. Faleke said, “Before this administration, we have collected some loans and the one that strikes me the most is the $460m for CCTV installation in Abuja. I want to know the position of this loan. I am sure we are paying back (the loan) but the CCTV is not working.