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Coastal super highway not a priority – Obi

Peter Obi | File Image

‘We must allocate resources towards repairing and completing existing infrastructure, crucial for the well-being and safety of our society, before embarking on new projects, no matter their perceived benefits’

By Valentine Amanze

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Mr. Peter Obi, has faulted the ongoing Coastal road project of the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government of Nigeria, stressing that it is not the priority of Nigerians now.

Obi also called for the immediate review of the project, while urging the government to prioritise the rehabilitation of the deplorable internal roads littered all over the country to enhance speedy economic growth.

Also read: Why my father supported Obi, by Ezeife’s daughter

Writing in his X handle, @PeterObi, the Anambra State former governor said, “I have closely followed the comments and developments arising from the coastal super highway project. While I’m hesitant to engage in contentious debates about its benefits, which I acknowledge, and the pricing, which I have serious concerns about and believe should be thoroughly reviewed, I feel compelled to raise essential questions about the timing and prioritization of such ventures.

“At the forefront of my concerns is the pressing issue of numerous uncompleted roads scattered across the country, many of which have become hazardous death traps and security risks. It’s disheartening to witness the plight of innocent Nigerians who traverse these dilapidated roads under perilous conditions, vulnerable to kidnappers and other dangers.

“Most of these roads, vital for economic growth, regional connectivity, and overall development, have been under construction for several years now and are unlikely to be completed shortly due to poor funding.

“Some of these roads in various zones include:

1. NORTH-WEST

Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road – Sokoto – Funtua – Zaria Road; Kano – Hadejia Road; Kano – Katsina Road Zaria – Funtua – Shema – Tsafe – Gusau – Talata – Mafara – Sokoto Road; Kano – Kwanar – Danja – Hadejia Road.

2. NORTH-EAST

Kano – Damaturu – Maiduguri Road;  Mubi – Maiduguri Road; Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road Gombe – Biu – Numan Road Dikwa – Marte – Monguno Road; Potiskum – Fika – Bajoga – Gombe – Biu Road Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Tongue Road Tumu – Pindiga – Kashere – Yalo – Bashar – Wase – Wamba – Nassarawa Road.

3. NORTH-CENTRAL

Abuja – Lokoja – Okene- Auchi – Benin Road; Ilorin – Jebba Road Kabba – Omuaran Road; Suleja – Minna Road Makurdi – Gboko – Yandev – Katsina-Ala Road Buruku Bridge across Katsina River.

4. SOUTH-WEST

Lagos – Badagry Road; Ibadan – Ife – Ilesha – Osogbo Road; Itoikin – Ijebu Ode – Ibadan Road; Ibadan – Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani Junction Road; Abeokuta – Ibadan Road; Ikorodu – Shagamu Road; Ado – Igede – Aramoko – Itawure Road; Ajasse Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Border Road.

5. SOUTH-EAST

9th Mile – Otukpo – Makurdi Road;  Enugu – Port Harcourt Road; Onitsha – Awka – Enugu Road; Onitsha – Owerri – Umuahia Road; Bende – Arochukwu – Ohafia Road; Okigwe – Afikpo Road – Nsukka – Obollo Afor Ehamafu – Nkalagu Road; Oba – Nnewi – Okija Road;

6. SOUTH-SOUTH

Benin – Sapele – Warri Road; East – West Road; Warri – Kaiama – Ahoada – Port Harcourt – Eket – Oron – Yenegwe Road; Junction – Kolo – Otuoke Road; Sapele – Agbor – Ewu Road; Benin – Akure – Ore – Ife Road; Ikot Ekpene – Aba – Owerri Road; Jattau – Fugar – Agenebode Road; Bodo – Bonny Road with Bridge across Opobo Channel Port Harcourt – Onne Road; Agbor – Sakpoba – Ogharefe Road; Odukpani Junction – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road.

“The Federal Ministry of Works 2024 capital budget of N892,461,262,656.00, additional funding from multilateral loan projects of N94,828,535,243.00, alongside other expected contributions from sources like the China-Exim Bank and the World Bank, will not be enough for serious work on all the critical roads, some of which I enumerated above, let alone their completion.

“So why embark on another huge project that will not be completed in the next 20 or 30 years? To do so will only exacerbate the problem of abandoned, uncompleted projects that are not contributing to economic growth and overall development.

“Prioritization and fiscal discipline should be our critical guiding principles now. Therefore, while acknowledging the potential benefits of coastal superhighway infrastructure, I urge prioritization of our existing uncompleted projects.

“We must allocate resources towards repairing and completing existing infrastructure, crucial for the well-being and safety of our society, before embarking on new projects, no matter their perceived benefits. Let’s prioritize the urgent needs of our people and ensure that our investments serve the collective good of the nation.” valoa2000@yahoo.com

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