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Niger Delta Youths call for suspension of N1.8trn Lagos-Calabar coastal road project

Youths from the oil producing region under the aegis of Niger Delta Youths Coalition for Peace and Progress, NDYCPP, have called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to immediately suspend the planned N1.8 trillion Lagos-Calabar coastal road project.

This is as the youth group expressed deep concerns of potential duplication of efforts and financial waste in pursuing the gigantic project.

It will be recalled that the Lagos-Calabar coastal road project which spans over 750 kilometers with 160 bridges connecting the entire Niger Delta region with Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State, was originally conceived by the Federal Government, with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, entrusted to oversee its development.

The NDDC invested over N25billion since 2014 in feasibility studies, project scope assessments, and detailed technical studies for the project.

In a statement jointly signed and issued in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Sunday, Pastor Jude Teidor, National President of NDYCPP, and George Okitikpi, National Secretary of the group said it was only expedient for the said project to be suspended to avoid waste.

They however commended President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to national development but raised their concerns regarding the project’s recent developments which they said would only lead to needless duplication considering the paucity of funds at the moment.

The coalition argued that the Federal Ministry of Works, headed by Engineer David Umahi, was pursuing negotiations for new construction contracts on the East-West Coastal Road without involving the NDDC.

“This raised suspicions of a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement that would toll the road for years, potentially rendering previous NDDC efforts useless”, the statement said.

The group therefore urged President Tinubu to “direct the Federal Ministry of Works to involve the NDDC in further negotiations with Hitech Construction Company on the project and mandate the House of Representatives Committee on Works to closely monitor developments on the road project within four weeks”.

The NDYCPP stakeholders emphasized the importance of harmonizing efforts between the NDDC and the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure that their actions align with the existing plans for the signature project, expressing confidence that “these steps could transform the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project into a successful example of effective governance and collaboration for the benefit of all Nigerians”.(VANGUARD NEWS)

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