Atiku Challenges Government Over ‘Dubious’ Lagos-Calabar Highway Project: Cost and Transparency Under Scrutiny

The controversy surrounding the Lagos-Calabar Highway Project has escalated as former presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar vehemently disputes the government’s handling of the initiative. Despite the Federal Executive Council’s approval and the commencement of construction by Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, Atiku insists that due process was not adequately followed.

In a media exchange between Atiku and the Presidency, the project’s cost and history came under intense scrutiny. Atiku contends that the project gained prominence during the final phases of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in November 2014. However, the Presidency refutes this, attributing the project’s initiation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

Central to the dispute is the project’s staggering cost. Umahi disclosed on a TV appearance that the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway would cost N4 billion per kilometer, contradicting Atiku’s claim of N8 billion per km. Atiku, through his media office, criticized Umahi for allegedly altering the project plan after awarding the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without competitive bidding.

Atiku denounced Umahi’s assertion that the project would tentatively cost N15.6 trillion, labeling it as wasteful and fraudulent. He highlighted discrepancies in the project’s funding and expressed concern over the lack of transparency regarding the counterpart funding component from the Federal Government.

Moreover, Atiku questioned the exclusion of the railway component from Umahi’s cost estimation, raising doubts about the project’s total expenses. He urged transparency in the bidding process and criticized Umahi’s assertion that only Hitech was capable of executing the project, pointing out successful projects by other reputable firms globally.


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