Atiku Accuses Tinubu of Awarding Contracts to His Personal Business Interests

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Atiku Accuses Tinubu of Prioritizing Personal Business Interests in Lagos-Calabar Highway Project.


Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has raised concerns over the lack of transparency surrounding the Lagos-Calabar highway project, restarted under the administration of President Bola Tinubu. Atiku criticized the project’s high cost and questioned its completion, accusing Tinubu of prioritizing personal business interests.


In a statement released by his media aide, Paul Ibeh, Atiku expressed apprehension about the proposed 700-kilometer coastal highway project, suggesting it should have commenced from Calabar if its intentions were genuine, rather than appearing as another attempt to deceive the public.


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The former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate lamented the project’s dubious nature, labeling it a white elephant project with all the hallmarks of a shady deal. Atiku alleged that the Tinubu administration had once again demonstrated a penchant for questionable transactions.

According to the statement, the project resurfaced during the twilight of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in November 2014, with an initial cost of $11.97 billion. Despite subsequent renegotiations under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the project continued to stall.

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Atiku highlighted the lack of transparency surrounding the awarding of the project to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech Construction Company Limited (Hitech), without competitive bidding or oversight by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). He further criticized the secrecy surrounding the project’s cost and implementation.

The former vice president emphasized concerns over job losses and potential conflicts of interest, particularly noting the project’s alignment with Bola Tinubu’s business interests. Atiku cited previous failures by Hitech, owned by Chagoury, in completing infrastructure projects, raising doubts about its capability to deliver on the Lagos-Calabar highway.


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Atiku accused Tinubu of prioritizing personal business interests over the welfare of Nigerians, in violation of his oath of office. He expressed skepticism about the project’s transparency and management, particularly in light of plans to establish the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund.


The Renewed Hope Fund, Atiku argued, lacks transparency and risks becoming another avenue for siphoning public funds through opaque projects. He called for greater accountability and oversight in the management of infrastructure projects, including the Lagos-Calabar highway.

As stakeholders await further developments, Atiku’s critique underscores broader concerns about transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s infrastructure development efforts, particularly in projects of national significance.


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