We Remain Unmatched In Prudence, Umahi Replies Atiku


By Alice Etuka, Abuja

Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi has said that despite the skyrocketed cost of materials in the construction industry the administration of President Bola Tinubu had remained unmatched in prudence, cost effectiveness, speedy and quality delivery of road projects.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Minister’s Spokesperson, Barr.Orji Uchenna on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

TheFact Daily gathered that, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, had challenged President Bola Tinubu to disclose the full cost of the Lagos-Calabar highway project.

While reacting to a statement credited to the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on the 700 km coastal road projects Umahi described the analysis he made on the coastal road project figures and the economic importance of the all-important coastal highway project as a gross misrepresentation of facts, and figures and a ploy to mislead Nigerians by darkening counsel without knowledge.

“He doesn’t understand figures. I am going to run figures for him to understand, and he will understand how prudent the administration of President Tinubu has been. He will understand how prudency is taking the centre stage in this administration. The President has once queried me on the cost of on-going projects nationwide.

“I had to analyse every basic rate of construction materials to arrive at our unit rates. I showed it to Mr. President. He still thinks I should bring down the cost of projects. At the same time, the contractors are crying that I am oppressing them so much by reviewing the costs of their projects downwards.

“They lamented that what they were getting before, they are no longer getting it now. They cried out. But when I run the figures, Nigerians will see what this present administration is doing. So, I’m not here to run the figures now. I will do that in a press conference on my visit to Lagos from 10th April 2024 to 12th April 2024.”

On the economic importance of the coastal highway, he stated, “I will tell you the economic benefits of the project and how the coastal road is tying the entire country together. It’s not tying just South-South and South- West. It is tying the North and South together. We are starting a project from Badagry to Sokoto, and we have a spur on this coastal route to that route and the African Trans Sahara Road that is passing from Enugu to Abakaliki to Ogoja to Cameroon which has a spur to the North.

“His Excellency, former Vice President Akitu Abubakar, may not know that the third section of the project is starting in Calabar by July 2024”.

The Minister averred that, President Bola Tinubu was committed to a diversified and sustainable economic future of Nigeria, and this he was doing in the works sector through aggressive infrastructure development that would provide access to trade, tourism, industrialisation and safety, especially along the local economic corridors.

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