East-West road designed to fail, yet gulped N300 billion – Minister

East-West Road [Photo: Gitto Group]

Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani, has said that the East- West road in the region was designed to fail. He also said the federal government has so far spent N300 billion on the project.

Mr. Usani stated these on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, which held inside the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister earlier said his ministry had sought for and gotten the nod of FEC to construct a new office for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC at the cost of N16 billion.

He was then asked why he chose to prioritise the building of a new office for NDDC instead of completing the East-West road considered important for the people of the region.

In his reaction, Mr. Usani said the road requires N30 billion to be completed and the N16 billion proposed for the NDDC headquarters is not enough to complete it.

“When you talk of N16 billion as if it is so relevant in completing the East-West road, I wish to tell you that the outstanding certificate on the east west road amount to N30 billion.

“So, if we put N16 billion there, in fact one and the other are not substitutes. Two of them are essential infrastructure projects that must go on, so it doesn’t mean that if we put that money on the East-West road then it satisfies the needs of housing the NDDC,” he said.

The minister said the East-West road is a project that has been messed up from inception. He said it was “naturally designed to fail by all the agreements and designed concepts that we have seen.”

He said he is presently “putting things in order” to ensure the project is completed.

“The project started more than a decade ago and in 24 months we have made the progress we have made on that project, correcting even the construction deficits in the area, then I think you should be able to appreciate what we are doing.

“The Niger Delta region has a prime position in our preference to develop the area and so there are no substitutes.

“So even if we are not going to do the NDDC headquarters, it doesn’t mean we will complete the East-West road. They are all important and I want you to get that into your mind,” Mr. Usani said.

On how much much has been spent on the East-West road so far, Mr. Usani said the government has spent N300 billion.

He, however, said he is doing a review of the entire contract; saying without that “nothing will ever happen on that road talk less of completion.”

“If you have spent N300 billion and you are where you are, then the design, negotiations, contracts and everything is wrong.

“You designed a project of that nature and give it a lifespan of seven years and then no designs in some sectors and yet you are attributing cost to it. So by what means did you have the elements of costing. These are verifiable facts at any time,” he said.

Mr. Usani said he has concluded plans to send about 30 contractors working for the NDDC to the EFCC for investigation and prosecution.

“I have got a minimum of 30 contractors that I am sending to EFCC. On the East-West road I have taken a private consultant to review the whole cost, so some contractors will obviously refund money for which the present cost will be discounted.

“So when you see contractors ganging up and publishing things against me, you should know the foundation. But as far as I am here I will do something that I feel is right,” he said.


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  • marig

    16bn for an office complex! Why are govt buildings so expensive? I can build a very functional and comfortable office complex for less than 1bn.

    • Guest

      You know the answer to your question…everything all marked up in cost, 1000%… why are you surprise buddy?

    • abodes_124

      Usanis’ cut and many other peoples cut are included that is why it is N16 billion. Note that N360 million is $1 million dollars. It has to quite an office that will cost over $40 million anywhere in the world. This is the rate at which they chop money. As for the east west road Usani is ‘studying’ it and sending the contractors working on it to he EFCC for a ‘chat’ and a few days in their dungeon.The east west roadis obviously not going anywhere fast.

  • Omooba

    MUST THE OFFICE BUILDING OF A GOVT PARASTATAL GULP N16B abi CAN’T IT BE SCALED DOWN FOR GOD’S SAKE? THE WAY PEOPLE TALK ABOUT BILLIONS THESES DAYS IS AMAZING. OUR LEADERS ARE JUST NOT GOD-FEARING ANY MORE AND VERY INSENSITIVE TO THE SUFFERING OF THE NIGERIAN MASSES.
    HONESTLY THIS IS A MISPLACED PRIORITY AND PMB SHOULD BE TOLD POINT BLANK.

  • FreeNigeria

    Does anything cost million Naira in Nigeria? Everything cost high Billions, yet we don’t see the result. The administration that awarded the contract might be gone, but the staffs in the ministry are still there. They should please explain this. Billion billion for everything

    • NwaIgbo

      Yes, but nothing, practically nothing to show for it in this fantastically corrupt nation where stealing is not corruption.
      Innocent poor Nigerians continue to bear the brunt of this evil empire.

  • NwaIgbo

    16 billion naira office building???? What happened to the previous office building, did corruption ants eat it down. Are there auditors in Nigeria or every thing in Nigeria is cursed with corruption.

    • Steve

      There is a NDDC headquarter building in port harcourt. Why the need for a new one? This is another misappropriation of paucity funds and yet Usani(the kettle) is calling NDDC contractors(the pot) black.

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    This Usani guy is out of his depth. You spent #300 billion and counting on some shitty road project and even while funds are short for its completion you’re proposing another #16 billion for an office building to house in-house looters. This kind of public servants serve no public good with his haughtiness and sterile disposition and should be made to go somewhere.

    • El Patron

      Yes he is incompetent but just a slight correction, the 300bn has been spent since start of construction 10yrs ago

  • The bottom line is that Nigeria is a total mess. What can we produce or develop in this country other than babies?. We are the fastest growing population on planet earth and yet remained primitive. Simple good roads can’t be built? Damn it…. Even Lagos-Ibadan expressway has become impossible to build because some fools had corruptly stolen the funds. In the sane clime where I live, road construction is everyday thing with superb technology.

    • Bade Amoye

      @George_USA:disqus

      MUHAMADU BUHARI is a figure of speech, a mere diagram moping inside government, with no plans;
      no priorities, no thought-process, no initiative, no gumption, no policy, no direction, and, no thinking.

      For a country mired in the after-effects of the worst economic recession in its 57-year history, as a
      direct result of Buhari’s befuddlement, building a new government office should be the last priority
      if only Buhari knows that governance is far more than acting a Police sergeant in a village setting.
      Nigeria is sinking without hope under Muhamadu Buhari, with 28 million youths presently jobless.

  • Steve

    I believe NDDC already has a headquarter building in port harcourt. Why the need for a new one? This is another misappropriation of paucity funds and yet Usani(the kettle) is calling NDDC contractors(the pot) black.

  • Arabakpura

    Was the NDDC staff unofficed before now? What kind of logic is this?

  • Michael Nweke

    We all are just e rats. In a developed country youths would have mobilised and say no for such new building. But all we do here is talk!!! No action

  • The Prophet

    A time the religious leaders are to mobilise their followers and chase out these Ahabs (Politicians) and Jezebels (Politicians) who oppress the people of God they are quiet…May God judge all the clergies in Nigeria…..

  • Kenny

    Exactly what you see when the man at the helm of affairs is clueless! Policy summersaults and misplaced priorities have become hallmarks of Buhari administration.

    • Joe

      This minister has gone mad. How can the east west road designed to failed?. Was it the technical design, political design or moral design?. Must we bring politics into everything?

  • MilitaryPolice01 [Joint Chief]

    “I have got a minimum of 30 contractors that I am sending to EFCC. On the East-West road I have taken a private consultant to review the whole cost, so some contractors will obviously refund money for which the present cost will be discounted.”
    —–
    Thank you Mr Minister, if you can do this, we will support you and spread your narrative across the web. Please also ensure that from henceforth any contract awarded by NDDC is automatically copied to Magu himself, so that the fear of imprisonment can be instilled in the despicable scoundrels

  • wode

    What type of structure, as an office complex, is going for N16B. That sounds too high!

  • Ehis

    God will definitely Jurge. You. Since the last regime left office the road has been abandoned. Appreciate what? Nonsense

  • South south are always their own enemy. (1) They had a president from the zone yet the project was not completed. (2) A minister from the zone again and he is busy telling us of non design. Please can some one tell these bunch of politicians that the SS people are tired of all these lies, and all they want is the immediate completion of the East-West road before the end of PMB first tenure.