PDP Kicks over outrageous road construction sum
OpenLife Nigeria reports that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is demanding an immediate review of the 375 kilometre Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road reconstruction contract.
The demand is contained in a statement signed by the pary’s spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan and made available to OpenLife Nigeria.
In the statement, the opposition party is shocked at the alleged inflated sum earmarked for the construction of the 375 kilometre road.
In what the party called “the unearthing of corrupt padding in the N797.23 billion contract recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC,” it called for an open probe into the alleged padding of the contract “from the original N155 billion to an outrageous and indefensible N797 billion, with a whopping N642 billion.
PDP further stated that the N642 billion differential is “Apparently earmarked to be shared among APC corrupt officials.”
Further, the spokesman noted that, “with the approved N797 billion, for a 375 kilometre road, the Buhari Presidency is claiming to be reconstructing a kilometre of road with an outrageous and inexcusable N2.12 billion; a huge slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians.
“While our party restates our total support for the reconstruction of this very important road, the PDP insists that it will be against the interest of the nation to allow criminal elements in the Buhari administration to hide under the project to steal a staggering N642 billion which ought to be channeled to other projects that would benefit the people.
“Our nation is jolted by the level of corruption in the Buhari presidency wherein Mr. President could approve a fraudulent contract padding to the tune of N642 billion at the time our nation is battling with serious economic challenges and infrastructural stagnation.
“The President Buhari should heed to the demands by Nigeria and immediately effect the review in the interest of the nation, before any releases are made,” PDP demanded.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, March 4, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved over N809.7 billion for various projects, including the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kano expressway.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said Council approved the change of scope for the construction of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway.
He said the road, hitherto undergoing renovation, would now be completely reconstructed, thus changing the existing cost of the project from N155 billion to N797.2 billion.
“I presented on behalf of the Ministry of Works and Housing, one memorandum and one report. The memo was with respect to the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano highway, which was to change the scope of works form rehabilitation previously awarded because many parts of the pavement had deteriorated, to full reconstruction of two lanes on both sides.
“The council considered and approve the request for that change of scope and the incidental cost consequence; changing the existing contract for N155 billion to N797.236 billion to provide for full reconstruction of the main carriageway, trailer parks, way bridges, toll stations and additional side lanes in the built-up areas across the FCT, Niger Kaduna and Kano Sates, which are all served by the road and this was approved by council for the same contractor,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the road reconstruction supervising Ministry has a total N404.64billion in the N13.3 trillion fiscal estimates for 2021.