in , , ,

Suspend Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Road – Chidoka tells Tinubu

A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Osita Chidoka, has asked President Bola Tinubu to suspend the controversial Lagos-Calabar coastal road project and subject it to further public conversations.

Chidoka, who was a former Aviation minister, said the government should rather improve Nigeria’s inland waterways and build small seaports across the coastal areas to move goods from one coastal city to another by ship.

He stated this Thursday night when he was featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today and was asked what he would do about the project if he was the President considering the controversy it has generated, to which he replied that he would stop it.

“Stop it now and subject it to public conversation because the financiers cannot raise finance for this project except if they use budgetary funds to fund it. Nobody can raise finance if they know they had no competitive bidding,” Chidoka said.

According to him, the award of the contract for the coastal road did not follow due process and the whole process was shrouded in secrecy and therefore lacked transparency.

“If what the minister (Dave Umahi) said is correct, then there is an absolute breach because the first thing that would have happened is that ICRC would have received this, the second thing is that even with the designs done by them and the desire to be able to get funding, neither the IFC, World Bank, European Bank, African Development Bank would fund a project that doesn’t go through competitive bidding.

“Ask any of the financial institutions, where would they get the money from? It was never advertised,” he said.

Chidoka said the President has alternative projects to embark on as legacy projects. According to him, Tinubu can redesign the national highway, authorise a new National Highway Act to dualise the existing highways and connect them to the airports and seaports.

The Lagos-Calabar coastal road project has attracted a lot of criticism from Nigerians, with many questioning the need to embark on such a monumental project at a time when the nation is borrowing to execute existing projects.

Some of the strongest critics of the project are opposition figureheads, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Federal Government recently started the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar coastal road which is being done by Hitech Construction Company Ltd.

Earlier on Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to investigate the procurement process in the award of the contract of the ₦15trn coastal road.

The House said the 2007 Procurement Act was violated and that certain approvals by the National Assembly as required by the law were not given.

Suspend Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Road – Chidoka tells Tinubu

Rivers’ Crisis: Impeachment plot against Fubara threat to Tinubu’s govt

EFCC arrests 21 suspected fraudsters in Uyo