Bauchi State governor, Dr. Bala Mohammed, has denied ever awarding Close Circuit Television (CCTV) contract when he was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Reacting to Sunday Sun report entitled: “National Security: How Abuja, Lagos, PH CCTV project was stalled,” Governor Mohammed said the Abuja CCTV contract was awarded by the Federal Government.
In a statement on behalf of Governor Mohammed, Engr. Eric Anyamene, former SA (Projects & ICT) to the Bauchi State governor, when he was FCT minister, said “as someone who was acquainted with and involved in most of the projects undertaken by the FCT Administration of Senator Bala Mohammed, I have his authority to set the records straight.”
He said the FCT Administration, under Senator Bala Mohammed, did not award any contract for the installation of CCTV facilities in the FCT.”
According to him, “the contract for CCTV in Abuja was awarded under the Ministry of the Police Affairs and supervised by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
“Of course, as a major beneficiary of the contract, the FCT was, at various times, co-opted into the arrangement but never at the procurement level or even management of the loan as that was completely outside its purview or core mandate.”
The governor said the body of the story failed to establish any link between the FCT and the procurement of the contract, while emphasising that “had Bala Mohammed been remotely associated with any questionable contract award, the anti-corruption agencies would have wasted no time in calling him out.”
He said instead of focusing on “a phantom duplication of contract,” the newspaper “should do well to highlight the verifiable infrastructural successes of the Jonathan Administration in the FCT with Bala Mohammed as the project champion.”
Listing the achievement, he said: “Notable among the projects was the installation of solar panel traffic lights which the Bala Mohammed FCT Administration initiated and executed. For the records, the solar panel traffic light was executed through bilateral assistance from the Chinese government, while the FCT paid its counterpart funding. Senator Bala Mohammed and his projects-driven team remain grateful that the impact of the project remains visible to both residents and visitors at night.
“Others include the Abuja-Kaduna rail project (acknowledged by no less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari), the aggressive development of satellite towns, the completion of the Usama Dam Water project that is the lifewire of water supply in the FCT, the relative peace and security enjoined by both indigenes and residents of Abuja and the road network, one of which has been named after the newly elected President of Niger Republic! In this regard, the road to the mini banquet hall in the Presidential Villa, the Kubwa Road and the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport Road from the City Gate all stand out for special mention.”
The governor said he must place on record some of the institutional innovations when he was minister of FCT Administration, which made Abuja “stand out as bedrocks of financial stability and employment opportunities.”
According to him, these include “FCT Internal Revenue Board, the Outdoor Advertising (Signage) Agency and the FCTA Emergency Services, all backed by law.”
He faulted the position the ‘unidentified’ former police chief in the repory, who, he said, “chose to stand the truth on its head by making spurious allegations. One would have expected the Sun newspapers to demand and receive a copy of the contract allegedly awarded by the Bala Mohammed FCT Administration.”
The governor said inasmuch as he believed the CCTC contract report was not borne out of malice or mischief, he calls “on the Management of The Sun Publishing Company, to follow the path of honour by immediately causing a retraction of the false report that the FCT Administration of Senator Bala Mohammed duplicated any contract.”
He urged the media to always “cross-check and authenticate the information at their disposal before rushing to the Press.”