*says first 1.3km is 80% completed

The Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has expressed his willingness to address the House of Representatives’ investigation regarding the N15tn Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway road project controversy.

Umahi mentioned his intention to broadcast the event live on television so that it could be viewed by all Nigerians.

The minister emphasized that there is complete transparency regarding the project, affirming that both him and the Ministry of Works meticulously adhered to proper procedures and acquired all essential approvals and documentation before initiating the project.

He said, “I am ready to face the National Assembly to defend the project. I will not want to say anything now till I meet with the senators and House of Reps members. It will be live so you will also hear it. It will be live so that Nigerians will see it,”

“When people say the project is on personal interest, there is a contradiction there. This is because Atiku Abubakar said the Jonathan administration wanted to do that project which would have cost about $12bn or so. So, whose interest was that administration promoting in trying to do that project?

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“I have a design from the NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission) on that project. The NDDC designs are quite bulky. When I was implementing this current project, I had to call for the design. There is no personal interest in this project. The idea of that project came from the ingenuity of Mr President (Bola Tinubu) when he was governor; he was the one who procured the right of way within the Lagos corridor and gazetted it.”

“The reason for the project taking off now is all about how we can inject some activities into the economy. If we want to come out of inflation, we have to look at investments in infrastructure and that is what this project is addressing. It is addressing a lot of elements of return on investments. There is no personal interest associated with that.

“It is quite petty to ask why it is starting from Lagos and not Calabar. The name of the project is ‘Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road’ and not the other way around. This means there is a zero point, which happens to be at Ahmadu Bello Way, which coincides with the Eko Atlantic. That is pure coincidence. We have started the project already and it is progressing. As of today, I can tell you that about 80 per cent of the first 1.3km is completed.”