• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Tell Nigerians actual cost of Lagos-Calabar road project – Atiku to Tinubu

May Day: Nigerian workers have never had it so bad – Atiku

…queries how project got design, right of way in 7 months

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, on Tuesday, challenged President Bola Tinubu to disclose the full cost of the Lagos-Calabar Highway project.

Atiku, in a statement, said Tinubu could not continue to keep silent on how much public funds would be spent on the project at a time when Nigeria was facing dire economic challenges.

Read also: Atiku faults Tinubu’s 700km Lagos-Calabar coastal road project

Atiku had last weekend, through Paul Ibe, his media adviser, queried the Tinubu administration’s decision to award the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without competitive bidding.

He had also wondered why the administration released N1.06trn for the pilot phase or six percent of the project, which begins at Eko Atlantic and is expected to terminate at the Lekki Deep Sea Port.

In a follow-up statement on Tuesday, Atiku said: “Tinubu administration cannot continue to respond to the public inquiry with insults”, adding that “they must come clean on this project because Nigerians deserve to know the truth.”

The statement which contained six posers to the Tinubu administration, said the president must tell Nigerians the total cost of the Lagos-Calabar coastal road.

It also urged the government to explain “Why the project is being funded by the Nigerian government despite being a PPP.

Atiku also said that the government must explain to Nigerians why the project is taking off from Chagoury’s Eko Atlantic and why N1.06trn is being spent on the pilot phase, which is just 47km.

Other posers that the Tinubu administration must respond to include “Why did the N1.06trn not get the approval of the National Assembly, “Why wasn’t there competitive bidding for the project, and how did the Tinubu administration get the design as well as the right of way in just seven months since it claimed the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari never touched the project.

Read also: Atiku says electricity hike will increase hardship

“Atiku asked the Tinubu administration to, in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act, respond to the questions line by line instead of taking the mundane and jejune route of “insulting their way out of every inquiry”.

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser to the president on information and strategy, has in his response, said the project was approved on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and at no cost to the government.