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General News of Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Source: Punch

Abuja-Kano road: PDP faults FG’s N2.12bn per kilometre cost

The Peoples Democratic Party has demanded an immediate review of the 375kKm Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road reconstruction contract.

The PDP in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the review became necessary following the alleged padding of the N797.23bn contract recently approved by the Federal Executive Council.

The party also demanded an open probe into “the criminal padding of the contract from the original N155 bn to an outrageous and indefensible N797bn, with a whooping N642bn apparently earmarked to be shared among corrupt officials.”

The statement noted that with the approved N797bn, for a 375 kilometre road, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s Presidency is claiming to be reconstructing a kilometre of road "’with an outrageous and inexcusable N2.12bn; a huge slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians’’

The statement read, “While our party restates our total support for the reconstruction of this very important road, the PDP insists that it will be against the interest of the nation to allow some people in Buhari administration to hide under the project to steal a staggering N642bn which ought to be channelled to other projects that would benefit the people.

“Our nation was jolted at the level of corruption in the Buhari presidency wherein Mr President could approve fraudulent contract padding to the tune of N642bnat the time our nation is battling with serious economic challenges and infrastructural stagnation.

“The PDP charges President Buhari to heed the demands by Nigerians and immediately effect the review in the interest of the nation, before any releases are made.

“The review by Mr President would douse tension already generated by the revelations of this attempt by fraudulent officials to swindle the nation as well as restore the confidence of the people in our system.

“Our party holds that the N642 billion which would be recovered through the review should be channelled to fix other important roads in the region as well as other parts of our country, which have become death traps following a distressing neglect by the Buhari administration.

“Moreover, the PDP tasks the Buhari Presidency to come clean on this blasphemous attempt to swindle our nation by instituting and allowing an open investigation on this criminal act by relevant statutory bodies including the National Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“The PDP demands that the investigation should cover the office of the Secretary to the Federation, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Office of the Accountant -General of the Federation, the Budget Office as well as other officials of the Buhari administration connected with the criminal contract inflation.

“What Nigerians expect now is for Mr President to show that he has not been overwhelmed by the corruption in his Presidency by taking decisive steps to investigate the matter and ensure the prosecution of all those involved, no matter how close they are to him,’’ the party stated.

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