Chinese loans: $400m project abandoned after completion
THE National Public Security Communication System project for which Nigeria took a $399.5million from China and has paid $76.83million as part of the principal as well as $84.92million interest has been abandoned, reporters can authoritatively report.
Although President Muhammadu Buhari had, during the 2020 Democracy Day broadcast on June 12, said that the project had been revived, report findings show that the project has since been abandoned. The President, in the 59th paragraph of the Democracy Day speech, had said, “Amongst others, Government has expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen states of the federation, resuscitated the National Public Security Communication System and commenced the implementation of the Community Policing Strategy.”
Nigeria had, in 2010, taken the $399.5million loan to finance the National Public Security Communication System roject with the aim of improving the security architecture of the country.
The loan, for which the outstanding is $322.67million, is supposed to be fully repaid by 2030, failing which the China-Exim Bank would take over the facility. Experts are agreed that had the project been activated after completion, Nigeria could have stemmed the rising tide of crime and criminality in different parts of the country.
Nigeria has been at the mercy of insurgents, bandits, and kidnappers who have repeatedly unleashed mayhem on many arts of the country. Just a few days back, the convoy of Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, was attacked by suspected militants. In June 2019, suspected kidnappers also attacked the convoy of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo State governor.
However, it was hide and seek for the agencies directly linked with the National Public Security Communication System project on Tuesday as the reporters sought to get their views on the President’s comment that the project had been revived.
Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) spokesperson, Adamu Idris, who spoke with the reporters on Tuesday, said the agency did not know anything about the project. His words, “We were brought in after the project had been completed, we were not brought in at the design stage. We were supposed to run it on behalf of the government but it was not successfully executed. So, we are no longer involved.” When asked to confirm the resuscitation of the project as said by the President, he said he did not know the current status of the project because his agency was no longer involved.