From Fred Itua, Abuja
Former senator who represented Kogi West in the 8th National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has rejected Federal Government’s planned N797 billion earmarked for the reconstruction of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano, describing it as the most expensive in the world.
The Federal Executive Council, had last week at its meeting, approved N797 billion for the said road. It approved other projects scattered across the country.
“The reconstruction of Road at the cost of N797, 000,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Nine-Seven Billion Naira) road is said to be 375 kilometres in total. This is probably the most expensive road construction on the earth at the average of US$6 million (N2.1 billion) per kilometre,” Melaye said.
Melaye who heads Anti-Corruption Network (ACN), said the cost of road construction in Nigeria has been consistently outrageous which now calls for serious scrutiny.
According to a report quoted by Melaye, the World Bank put the cost of constructing 1
kilometre of road at ₦238 million. He said the figure is the benchmark that usually shouldn’t be surpassed regardless of several factors.
He said: “Going down the memory lane, in 2013, the Federal Government awarded the contract for reconstruction of the 127km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at N167 billion (US$1 billion at the time it was awarded). Interestingly, and also in 2013, a similar contract was awarded for the 1,028km Lagos-Abidjan road project and the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) estimated this project to cost between N167 billion and N240 billion.
“At the projected maximum cost of N240 billion, the cost of the ECOWAS road per km will be N234 million whereas the six-lane expressway road contract awarded by the Federal Government at N167 billion cost will be N1.3 billion per kilometre. In other words, the number of kilometres to be covered by the ECOWAS project is 8 times higher than Nigeria’s Lagos-Ibadan Express road project; and the cost per kilometre is far lower than that of Nigeria.”