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Umahi Replies Atiku, Says FG to Spend N2.8tr on Lagos-Calabar Highway


The Federal Government has revealed the cost of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway it is constructing.

It said it would cost N4bn per kilometre and not the N8bn per km reportedly claimed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

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The total sum would thus come to N2.8trn.

Works Minister, Dave Umahi, disclosed this when he appeared as a guest on the Television Continental News Hour programme on Wednesday in Lagos.

As ‘The Punch’ reports, the minister also dismissed claims that the project didn’t follow the due procurement process, stating that the contract was awarded on a counter-funding basis and not on a Public-Private Partnership as widely claimed.


He explained, “People are just building castles without knowledge and they don’t know figures. I will run the figures for you. We are going to compare the cross-section of the one the former vice president mentioned that was renegotiated for $11.1bn for 700 km. So you have to now ask what was there to be constructed. And what was there to be constructed is the only available design from NDDC. They had designed the entire 700 km but we are not following exactly that pattern or right of way. We have a different modification. The original design had two carriageways on each side of the road with four lanes.

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“And in the middle, they did not provide for the train track. It’s just going to be a water-collecting basin. But the coastal road we are constructing has a total of 10 lanes, you know, not only that it has a total of 10 lanes, it also has what we call shoulders. And the total shoulders can be put at about 23 metres. So when you put the total concrete pavement we are doing, it’s about 59 metres. When you put the total flexible pavement that he quoted it’s about 23 metres.

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“And so when you run the figures, you now find out that under his calculation, it is giving you about over N19bn per kilometre. Now if you divide it by the 23 kilometres that they are doing, it is about 2.225 times a standard superhighway carriageway, which is N11.55bn. Whereas what we are doing, if you divide it, you get N5.167bn, So when you now divide using our 1.067, you get about N4bn/km. If you go back to what he has quoted, you will get over N8bn. So using concrete, which should be more expensive because of the kind of terrain we have, and using flexible pavement, which shouldn’t stand the coastal route, you will find out that our cost is N4bn instead of the N8bn claimed by the former vice president.”

Last week, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar, questioned President Bola Tinubu administration’s decision to allegedly award the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without competitive bidding, daring the president to disclose the full cost of the Lagos-Calabar highway project.

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

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But responding in a statement on Tuesday, Umahi explained that despite the soaring costs of materials in the construction industry due to commodity price inflation and supply chain disruptions, the ministry is committed to prudence, promising to reveal the true cost.

However, in the interview, Umahi confirmed that the project would be completed within eight years, stating that with the use of concrete pavement on the four-lane carriageway, the project costs N4bn per km.

He also explained that although N1.06tn was appropriated, the full amount had not been disbursed.



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