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Lagos-Calabar highway: Atiku raises alarm over non-disclosure of project cost, seeks transparency

COMBO: President Bola Tinubu and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar

Atiku also questioned the Tinubu administration’s decision to award the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without a competitive bidding and the release of N1.06tn for the pilot phase or 6% of the project, which begins at Eko Atlantic to terminate at the Lekki Deep Sea Port

By Valentine Amanze

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has raised alarm over federal government’s non-disclosure of the total cost of the Lagos-Calabar Highway Project.

While calling for transparency on the financing of the project, Atiku wondered why it did not pass through the National Assembly.

In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, Atiku, the former vice president, dared President Bola Tinubu to disclose the full cost of the project.

Atiku said that it was dangerous for the Tinubu administration to continue to keep silent on how much of public funds would be spent on the project at a time Nigeria was still facing dire economic challenges.

Atiku also questioned the Tinubu administration’s decision to award the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without a competitive bidding and the release of N1.06tn for the pilot phase or 6% of the project, which begins at Eko Atlantic to terminate at the Lekki Deep Sea Port.

Also read: Tinubu’s aide blames Buhari for rot in economy

Besides, Atiku questioned how the Tinubu administration got the design and the right of way in seven months, since it claimed the past administrations of Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari never touched the project.

But in his response, the Minister of Works, David Umahi, described Atiku’s allegation as

“Gross Misrepresentation of Facts.’’

Umahi said that despite the high cost of materials in the construction industry, the administration had maintained prudence, cost effectiveness, speed and quality in the delivery of road projects.

The minister, who neither said whether the project passed due diligence nor approved by the National Assembly, alleged that Atiku does not understand figures.

His words: “He (Atiku) doesn’t understand figures. I am going to run figures for him to understand, and he will understand how prudent the administration of President Tinubu has been.

“He will understand how prudency is taking the centre stage in this administration.

“The President has once queried me on the cost of on-going projects nationwide. I had to analyse every basic rate of construction materials to arrive at our unit rates.”

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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