Lagos-Calabar: Atiku’s Criticisms Induced By Political Calculations- Umahi


Lagos-Calabar: Atiku’s Criticisms Induced By Political Calculations- Umahi


The Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi said criticisms of the Lagos-Calabar Super Highway by Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, are not only hypocritical but are motivated by ambition and cheap political calculations.

Umahi who spoke through his Special Adviser (Media), Hon. Orji Uchenna Orji, in Abuja, on Wednesday, 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 clearly superficial, hypocritical, diversionary, and undoubtedly motivated by ambitious political calculations.”

According to him, the former Vice President‘s criticism of the project award and cost as well as his claim that 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 the President of Nigeria and the Chairman of Hitech, Chagoury, and that the demolition exercise was done in a hurry and thus 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.

“The Honourable Minister of Works, His Excellency, Sen. Engr. Dr. Nweze David Umahi CON, has in different media fora decapitated the insinuations of the former Vice President and other desperate persons when he gave insights into the award process, the unit cost comparisons, the project review dimensions, the demolition notices and compensation plans as well as those affected by the demolition.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project complied 100% 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).

“The BPP worked on it in accordance with the stipulations of the Procurement Act and came up with a competitive price slightly lower than the Ministry’s price and even lower than the cost of similar projects awarded five years ago, including the Bodo-Bonny project awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.”