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Tinubu Boast on the benefits of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road

Tinubu Boast on the benefits of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road 


The construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal road will bring benefits that are “more than imaginable”, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said yesterday.

He spoke at the groundbreaking of the 700km highway at Ahmadu Bellow Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The President has also approved the simultaneous commencement of work from the Cross River and Akwa Ibom end of the highway.

Describing himself as a “happy man” and the day “as my day of bragging”, a boisterous Tinubu dispelled fears being expressed on the project, saying it rather brings hope to the people and a bright future for the country.

The President said: “During the period of construction, the road will provide direct employment to thousands of people and indirect employment to tens of thousands of artisans and more.

“Economic opportunities for millions are being opened. It will fast-track community development. It will bring development closer to the people and give 30 million people improved access to production and marketing centres.

“You can easily predict a journey vertically and go along the horizontal line and do the definition of your geometry.

“For free movement of people, geometry teaches us that the straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Go for it.

“The potential of the road is enormous. The spur to Sokoto is undergoing procurement.

“Let us speed up the financial details being worked out. Don’t be afraid, we will do this road.

“It will be a success for Nigeria and we will do more. I am a very happy man today. Share with me in the joy.”

He said the project will also complement the expansion of the country’s maritime industry in the wake of the recent decision by the UN to grant Nigeria an extension of its continental shelf by an additional 16,300 square kilometers.

“We must take advantage of it,” he said, adding that the establishment of more export processing zones along the coastal states must be a priority.

The President added: “We said we will do this road, we’re determined to do it. The way we’re going, we’ll have a road that will outlive all of us here. That is how to build the future.

“The project is more than just a mere road; it is a symbol of hope, unity and prosperity.

“It will connect communities and bring prosperity to people, create opportunities for millions. We’re at it…hold on to the right side, and you’ll have opportunities; hold on to the left side of it, you’ll have prosperity.

“For our nation to excel, we just have to be bold and courageous in our endeavours.

“Thanks to Hiteck (the contractor)  for believing in us and for believing in the country, Nigeria.

“Not just talking about Lekki Deep Seaport and all the economic opportunities along that coast, what is a 700km concrete paved road? What it will bring is just more than imaginable.”

He also applauded the Chairman of Hi-Tech Construction Company, Amb. Gilbert Chagoury, and Engr. Ronald Chagoury, whose company is handling the project, for being worthy stakeholders and believing in the Nigerian project.

“We worked to tame the Atlantic and turned a disaster into a great asset and value. We lost weight and took abuses, but we tamed the Atlantic. We achieved our goals,” the President said, recounting how the indigenous company successfully executed a project to prevent the Atlantic Ocean from encroaching on endangered sections of the Lagos shoreline.

He also applauded Aliko Dangote, who was present at the event, for his enduring capacity in business and commitment to continue investing in Nigeria, urging other industrialists to emulate Dangote’s commitment to investing in Nigeria.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, on behalf of the 10th National Assembly, declared his strong support for the coastal highway project.

He appealed for an executive bill to amend the Procurement Act to ensure speedy completion of projects.

“Nigerians are behind you, Mr. President. Do not be afraid.

“A few days ago, we were debating at the Senate and we concluded that we must amend the Procurement Act.

“A situation where you want to construct a road of N100million and you start by putting N2million this year means you will finish the job in 50 years.

“We must be in a position to budget in a way that we also look at the tenure of the presidency and the government,” he said.

He described the existing budgeting process as flawed and partly responsible for the abandonment of over 14,000 projects across the country.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, announced that the President has directed that sections 3 and 4 of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project should commence from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

Emphasising that due process was followed in awarding the contract for this transformative project, the Minister described President Tinubu as an uncommon thinker and courageous leader.

Umahi said over 40 new projects are ongoing across the country, and all compensations up to kilometre 6 of the Lagos-Calabar project have been paid.

He assured that the routes of the project have been re-aligned based on the President’s instructions and environmental assessment reports, while the first section of the project will be inaugurated before the end of President Tinubu’s second year, and will be tolled.

The Oniru of Iruland in Lagos State, Oba Abdulwasiu Lawal, in whose domain the project is situated, assured the President that the community will ensure the removal of all bottlenecks.

He stated that his people had made painful sacrifices for the project to materialise and called for adequate compensation for his people.

In separate remarks, governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Abdulrahman Abdulrazak (Kwara), and Hope Uzodinma (Imo) described the wide-ranging support from sub-nationals as a vote of confidence in the national acceptance of the project.

At the coastal road flag-off were governors, deputy governors, Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Dr Umar Ganduje; ministers, members of the National Assembly, traditional rulers and dignitaries.

Most of them had earlier attended the inauguration of the reconstructed Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway and the rehabilitated Third Mainland Bridge.



Credit: TheNation

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