By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over what it called the manifest padding of the cost for the reconstruction of the Abuja -Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road at an outrageous N797.23 billion.
The PDP described the project as a racket which has again exposed the multifaceted corruption in the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja.
The main opposition party asserted that the approval of N797.23 billion ($2.09bn) by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the 375 kilometer road, “speaks volumes of the level of profligacy and corruption inherent in the administration”.
The PDP statement reads, “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 APC 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 kilometer road for N797 billion, the APC Federal Government wants the nation to believe that it is spending N12.12 billion ($5.58 million) per kilometer of road.
“The PDP holds that this is the height of corruption, recklessness and insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians.
“Nigerians can now see how the APC-led administration has been awarding projects at over- bloated costs, bulk of which are diverted to private purses of APC leaders and the cabal, making our roads the most expensive in Africa.
“Similar roads with the same length in kilometers and road architecture are being constructed at far cheaper costs in other countries across Africa.
“The PDP holds that awarding our roads at indefensible costs just to enrich APC leaders at the detriment of millions of other Nigerians is completely unacceptable.
“It is common knowledge that there are internationally recognized cost per kilometer recommended by many international organisations to which Nigeria belongs, but the APC administration had failed to subscribe to such template because of its proclivity for corruption.
“Furthermore, there are reports that under the APC, roads are being awarded to contractors before the structural designs are ready.