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Tinubu asked to decentralise Lagos-Calabar highway contract

An activist and coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah, has called on President Bola Tinubu to decentralise the ongoing Lagos-Calabar superhighway project…

An activist and coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah, has called on President Bola Tinubu to decentralise the ongoing Lagos-Calabar superhighway project by accommodating more contractors.

Speaking with Daily Trust in Lagos, Eva said the Calabar section of the project should be handed over to another set of contractors to enhance speedy delivery.

The Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project, designed to stretch on 700 kilometres and pass through 9 states, was awarded to Hitech Construction Company Limited on an engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPC+F) arrangement, where the bulk of the risk falls on the contractor and the federal government provides counterpart funding.

The federal government commenced the construction in March 2024, beginning with the first phase of the project, which stretches on 47.47 kilometres from Lagos.

The project has earned the federal government criticism from major opposition leaders like the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last year’s election, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi.

Speaking with our correspondent in Lagos, Evah said there was need to hasten up the pace of work on the highway by bringing more contractors on board.

He asked Tinubu to take a clue from how the Babangida administration deployed multiple contractors to handle the Third Mainland bridge project in the 1990s.

“That area is swampy, apart from the danger of using a single contractor, and any other fear. We are not dealing with rocky ground or whatever; we are talking of sand-filling and all that. If Babangida, who was a military ruler, decided to adopt that, just within Lagos, it would be difficult for one contractor to move from one end straight to the other. He did it in 1991.  He decided to give the contract to two or three contractors.

“If that is not done, we will not be happy with the president; and we are going to confront the situation. We will say “there is a hidden agenda in the project.” If not, we expect contractors from the Calabar side to move down to Lagos while the Lagos axis will move to Calabar and they will meet at the middle. That’s how to show we have been carried along,” Evah said.

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