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How Nigerian Govt Fraudulently Deceive Nigerians in Attempt to Deny Multi-Billion Railway Contract

The Nigerian Ministry of Transport has claimed that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with UK company, MPH Rail Development for the proposed Port Harcourt-Calabar-Enugu-Abuja standard gauge railway project is not legally binding.

This government in a statement  by the ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi on added that the MoU signed on February 12, 2024 by the Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali on behalf of the ministry, was to provide a platform for further discussion between parties to determine whether the project could be executed or not.

The government then went ahead to say “MoU originated from an unsolicited proposal presented by the British African Business Alliance (BABA), an association based in the United Kingdom with an interest in business in Africa.

It continued: “Its proposal was initially submitted to the Ministry on 27th August 2019. As required, the proposal (Outline Business Case) was submitted to the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) on 8th December 2023. 

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“The major attraction of the proposal is BABA/MPH’s initiative to achieve 100% private sector funding for the project ‘with no loans or debt to the Nigerian Government or any of its agencies’, as captured in Article 3.3 of the MoU.”

WIKKITIMES FINDINGS

The claims by the Nigerian government exposes further the deception that the government would have subjected its citizens to. Using open source intelligence, WikkiTimes exposes the fraud behind this deal which the Nigerian government now denies.

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The government claims that the proposal for the deal was presented by the British African Business Alliance. However, checks show that the same persons who own “British African Business Alliance” own “MPH Rail Development Limited”. 

It is unclear how the government did not realize that these directors who own two Organizations used one of the organizations to approach the government and then the other to carry on a deal as “special vehicle”, based on the exact word usage by the Nigerian government.

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Tracing the history BABA

Registered in 2015 by David Neil Smith, British Africa Business Alliance was alloted just one (1) share.

Meaning that the organisation was worth just one pound (£1) as of 2015.

In July 2020, Andrew Jason was appointed as a direct at BABA. 

Although his appointment was terminated this year in February, from the time that the BABA approached the Nigerian government till the time of the contract award, he sat on the board of BABA as the second director.

Two Companies, Same Owners as Nigerian Government Feign Ignorance 

The same persons who own British African Business Alliance, own the MPH Rail Development Limited. Andrew Jason and David Neil Smith own both companies.  

Infact the company which the federal government claimed approached it is listed as a “micro-company” in the United Kingdom worth £1, showing questions of how a micro company will handle a multibillion naira investment in Nigeria and raise funds for it.

As of the last statement submitted by BABA, it was in debt, that is it couldn’t meet its obligation 

As of 2022, it was owing over £2000. As of now BABA’s need to submit accounts is overdue in the United Kingdom.

The organisation did not register as an association as the Nigerian government wants its citizens to believe, instead BABA registered as a private company limited by shares, according to official filing information from the United Kingdom. Truly, the organisation carries on the activities of business and employers memberships association, but it’s a private company limited by shares; albeit, one share with one pound.

It’s unclear how two companies owned by the same persons that could not even meet up their own financial obligations will raise billions for the Nigerian government to carry out the now contentious rail projects.

BABA Submits Proposal to Nigerian Government on August 27th, 2019, Registers MPH Rail Development 29 Days After 

It is unclear also how the Nigerian government missed out on the fact that British African Business Alliance Directors went ahead to register Mordecai JB Limited on September 26, 2019, twenty-nine days after it approached the Nigerian government for a public private partnership for the railway project. For unknown reasons, perhaps to secure the deal with the Nigerian government, it changed the name from “Mordecai JB limited” to MPH Rail Development Limited. Mordecai JB limited started out as a Nigerian company before Jason went to the United Kingdom in 2019 to open the same Mordecai JB Limited which he later changed the name to MPH Rail Development.

As of January 2024, the United Kingdom government threatened to strike off BABA from its register before suspending such action in February.

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It is also not clear how the government missed that Andrew Jason immediately resigned from the board of BABA twelve days after his second company (MPH Rail Development Limited) secured a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian government.

It is unclear how the Nigerian government missed out on all these details before allowing the country to enter into an initial memorandum of understanding with the two organisations.

WikkiTimes earlier documented how MPH Rail Development Limited fraudulently abused Nigerian laws in the PPP agreement with the Nigerian government.

WikkiTimes sent text messages and WhatsApp messages to the Minister of Transportation Said Alkali but days after is yet to get a reaction from the government on these developments.

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