New Telegraph

Lagos-Calabar Highway: Umahi Accuses Atiku Of Induced Political Calculations

Amid the widespread criticism that has greeted the proposed Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the Minister of Works, David Umahi, has said the project compiled 100 per cent with the Procurement Act.

The Minister made the disclosure in a statement issued on Tuesday by his spokesman, Orji Uchenna Orji while reacting to the comment credited to the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

New Telegraph had earlier reported that Atiku accused the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government of awarding the contract to HiTech construction without competitive bidding but rather due to a personal relationship between the president and chairman of the firm.

The Vice President also accused President Tinubu of promoting propaganda and putting his personal interest above that of Nigeria.

Reacting to the accusation, Umahi stated that the project was awarded based on the EPC+ F procurement process, stressing that the project is an unsolicited bid.

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The Minister also berated the former vice president for his comments over the landmark project and for linking the award of the coastal highway to nepotism

He added that Atiku’s accusations were, “intrinsically superficial, baseless, self-serving and politically motivated to imprint malice in the minds of unsuspecting members of the public, especially the gullible.

Umahi said Atiku’s claim that Seyi Tinubu, the son of the President has an interest in CDK Integrated Industries Ltd is not tenable as the company that did bid for the project was Hitech Construction Company Nigeria Ltd.

The statement read, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project compiled 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 for 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. The BPP issued a certificate of “No Objection” on the project to the Federal Ministry of Works as required by the Procurement Act.

“Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Works took the certificate of “No Objection” to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and the FEC deliberated on and approved the same. It would be recalled that the FEC had first approved the project model on EPC+F before the process of procurement even started.

“This is a testament that the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, section 1, followed due process.

“The claim of the former Vice President that the son of the President of Nigeria has interest in CDK Integrated Industries Ltd is not tenable as the company that did bid for the project was Hitech Construction Company Nigeria Ltd which has a full legal personality, as it were. Again, these claims are nothing but a digression showing absolute frustration of a false accuser who is bereaved of facts to substantiate his claims.”

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