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Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway: LP, PDP Rep, Afenifere kick as Umahi battles Atiku


Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway: LP, PDP Rep, Afenifere kick as Umahi battles AtikuLAGOS — The Labour Party, LP, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP caucus in the House of Representatives, and the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, have joined the criticisms against Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway as Works Minister, Engr. David Umahi, took on former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his opposition to the project.

While the LP urged President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to make full disclosures on why they are carrying out the project, Afenifere said it should be halted and reviewed for due process to be followed.

A member of the PDP Caucus of the House of Representatives, and Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Rep Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun), on his part, said due process must be followed in the execution of the project.

Atiku had among others alleged that the fact that President Tinubu’s son, Seyi, and his surrogates are on the board of companies owned by Gilbert Chagoury clearly constitutes a conflict of interest.

Atiku promoting politically motivated false analogies – Umahi

Umahi said Atiku’s criticisms of the project are not only hypocritical but also motivated by ambition and cheap political calculations.

Umahi, who spoke through his Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Orji Uchenna Orji, in Abuja, yesterday, accused Atiku of promoting false analogies to discredit the procurement process which led to the award of Section 1 of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project.

Orji said: “I wish to categorically state that such viewpoints are false analogies, conceived by the fertile imaginations of the former Vice President and which are superficial, hypocritical, diversionary, and undoubtedly motivated by ambitious political calculations.”

According to him, the former Vice President‘s criticism of the project award, cost and the firm chosen to execute the contract were based on ignorance.

Specifically, Orji spoke to claims by Atiku that the contract was awarded to Hitech Construction Company Nigeria Limited because of the personal relationship between President Bola Tinubu and the Chairman of Hitech, Chagoury, and that the demolition exercise was done in a hurry and thus was a threat to foreign investment.

He said: “These accusations or rather viewpoints are, to say the least, intrinsically superficial, baseless, self-serving and politically motivated to imprint malice in the minds of unsuspecting members of the public, especially the gullible.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project complied 100 per cent with the provisions of the Procurement Act and was awarded based on the EPC+F procurement process, that is to say, the project is an unsolicited bid done on EPC+F.

“Under this model of procurement, the investor provides all the designs, part of the financing and construction, while the FGN pays counterpart funds.

“The bid of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project came through this process. The Ministry received the bid, worked on it, and sent the same to the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP.

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