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‘N4bn per Kilometre’, Umahi reveals cost of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway

Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi, says every kilometre of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project under construction costs N4 billion. Umahi made this known while…

Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi, says every kilometre of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project under construction costs N4 billion.

Umahi made this known while reacting to the claim made by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, that one kiolmetre of the road project gulps N8 billion.

The minister’s revelation, however, translated to the infrastructural project which is 700 kilometres will consume N2.8 trillion.

Umahi made this known while appearing as a guest on the Television Continental (TVC) News Hour programme.

The former Ebonyi governor also debunked claims that the project did not follow the due procurement process.

He added that the project was awarded on a counter-funding basis and not on a Public-Private Partnership as claimed.

Last week, Atiku criticised President Bola Tinubu’s decision of awarding 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 N1.06 trillion for the pilot phase, or six per cent of the project, which starts at Eko Atlantic and is expected to terminate at the Lekki Deep Sea Port.

Reacting to the allegations, Umahi explained that despite the increasing 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.

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 N4 billion per kilometre.

“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.

“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 called 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.” he said.

He continued, “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 N11.55 billion.

“Whereas what we are doing, if you divide it, you get N5.167bn, So when you now divide using our N1.067 trillion, you get about N4 billion per kilometre. If you go back to what he has quoted, you will get over N8 billion. 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 N8 billion claimed by the former vice president.”

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