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Buhari must hear about this corruption

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CorruptionSIR: A federal road project was awarded in 2002 to a supposedly Turkish firm for about N16 billion and was to have been completed over a three-year period.

(A Nigerian could have a company bearing a foreign name and claiming foreign ownership). As a journalist, I have undertaken several investigations concerning the road project.

The concern was not just to secure a byline. The concern was the importance and benefit of the road to the locals, Kaduna, Northern Nigeria and indeed, Nigeria at large.

The road, spanning Sabon Buwaya- after Gonin- Gora in Chikun Local Council Area of Kaduna State, followed through the back of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) and proceeding via Mararaban Rido to Sabon-Gida Damishi, to finally burst out at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Council Area.

The project was to reduce the frequent traffic gridlocks experienced in the Kaduna metropolis as motorists coming from Kano-Zaria to Abuja, would follow the eastern bypass and burst out ahead of Gonin-Gora.

But the road has now become an ATM Machine to the contractors, consultants and stakeholders engaged in the project.

As at 2013, this road project, which was supposed to have been completed in 2005, had just been about almost half completed with roughly N11.5 billion already spent.

Now 13 years on, the road project is still not completed. The only significant thing that has been done on the road is the tarring from the Sabon Buwaya Bridge to Mararaban Rido Bridge, which is just about 49 per cent of the total road project. Because of some vested interests, the contract has been reviewed severally.

Some lawmakers are also making huge amount of money yearly in the name of oversight functions. The road is about 48 kilometres long.

According to the contractors, the agreement was signed on November 8, 2002, claiming they were not able to mobilize to site until March 5, 2003 due to the issue of compensation for the local people whose lands the road had crisscrossed.

For many locals, the issue of compensation was a mere talking shop. While locals and other Nigerians keep complaining of how the contractors are living large at site without serious work, the contractors have been attributing their lack of progress to poor funding.

Whatever the situation, whether the contractors have a genuine reason for blaming the government for its inability to complete the work or the dissatisfaction of citizens complaining are both right, the completion of the road project will be the only thing that will bring direct benefit to the people.

Until that is done, Buhari should be ready for more extraordinary tales of such phantom contracts.



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