The Peoples Democratic Party has raised the alarm over “manifest padding” of the cost for the reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road, saying the N797.23bn budgeted for the project is “outrageous.”
In statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP stated that the approval of a “scandalous” amount by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive Council for the 375-kilometre road “speaks volumes of the level of profligacy and corruption inherent in the administration.”
The statement was titled ‘Corruption: PDP Raises Alarm Over Padding of Abuja-Kano Road Cost…Cautions FG on Over bloated Cost of Projects.’
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It read in part, “While the PDP has nothing against any genuine effort towards infrastructural development in our country and particularly the reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, our party and, indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians reject this clear attempt by the All Progressives Congress administration to hide under this desirable project to fleece our nation.
“Our party invites Nigerians to note that by awarding the reconstruction of the 375-kilometre road for N797bn, the APC Federal Government wants the nation to believe that it is spending N12.12bn ($5.58 million) per kilometre of road. The PDP holds that this is the height of corruption, recklessness and insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians.”
The PDP further alleged that there were reports that under the APC, roads were being awarded to contractors before the structural designs were ready, stressing that the concept of competitive bidding for contracts was being relegated, thereby shutting out genuine contractors who could have delivered more qualitative jobs at realistic costs.
The statement further read, “The PDP cautions the Buhari administration to desist from awarding contracts for projects at unrealistic and profligate costs, a situation that have created a conduit to corrupt APC leaders to siphon our common patrimony and subject Nigerians to excruciating hardship.”