Obi criticizes coastal super highway project, advocates for focus on internal roads


Peter Obi, the 2023 Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has criticized the current administration's Coastal Super Highway project, stating that it is not a priority at this time and that the timing is off.

Obi has called for an immediate review of the project, urging the government to shift its focus towards addressing the country's deplorable internal road network. The former Anambra State governor believes that improving the internal road infrastructure is crucial for enhancing economic growth and development. Obi's stance highlights the need for the government to prioritize the needs of its citizens and invest in projects that have a direct impact on their daily lives. The Labour Party presidential candidate is known for his focus on economic development and has consistently advocated for policies that promote growth and prosperity for all Nigerians.

The LP standards bearer, in a press statement signed his spokesperson, Dr Yunusa Tanko, listed some of the abandoned road projects in the geopolitical zones of the country, saying that deliberate attention should be given to those projects that will enhance the living standards of the poor and help internal day-to-day production.

Writing on his X handle on Monday, the former Anambra State governor said, "I have closely followed the comments and developments arising from the coastal superhighway project. While I'm hesitant to engage in contentious debates about its benefits, which I acknowledge, and the pricing, which I have serious concerns about and believe should be thoroughly reviewed, I feel compelled to raise essential questions about the timing and prioritization of such ventures.

"At the forefront of my concerns is the pressing issue of numerous uncompleted roads scattered across the country, many of which have become hazardous death traps and security risks. It's disheartening to witness the plight of innocent Nigerians who traverse these dilapidated roads under perilous conditions, vulnerable to kidnappers and other dangers.

"Most of these roads, vital for economic growth, regional connectivity, and overall development, have been under construction for several years now and are unlikely to be completed shortly due to poor funding.

"Some of these roads in various zones include:

1. NORTH-WEST Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road - Sokoto – Funtua – Zaria Road Kano – Hadejia Road Kano – Katsina Road Zaria – Funtua – Shema – Tsafe – Gusau – Talata - Mafara – Sokoto Road Kano – Kwanar – Danja – Hadejia Road 

2. NORTH-EAST Kano – Damaturu - Maiduguri Road - Mubi – Maiduguri Road Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road Gombe – Biu – Numan Road Dikwa – Marte – Monguno Road Potiskum – Fika – Bajoga – Gombe – Biu Road Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Tongue Road Tumu – Pindiga – Kashere – Yalo – Bashar – Wase – Wamba – Nassarawa Road 

3. NORTH-CENTRAL Abuja – Lokoja – Okene- Auchi – Benin Road - Ilorin – Jebba Road Kabba – Omuaran Road - Suleja – Minna Road Makurdi – Gboko – Yandev – Katsina-Ala Road Buruku Bridge across Katsina River 

4. SOUTH-WEST Lagos – Badagry Road Ibadan – Ife – Ilesha – Osogbo Road Itoikin - Ijebu Ode – Ibadan Road Ibadan – Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani Junction Road Abeokuta – Ibadan Road Ikorodu – Shagamu Road Ado – Igede – Aramoko – Itawure Road Ajasse Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Border Road 

5. SOUTH-EAST 9th Mile – Otukpo - Makurdi Road - Enugu Port Harcourt Road Onitsha – Awka - Enugu Road Onitsha – Owerri – Umuahia Road Bende – Arochukwu – Ohafia Road Okigwe – Afikpo Road - Nsukka – Obollo Afor Ehamafu – Nkalagu Road Oba – Nnewi – Okija Road 

6. SOUTH-SOUTH Benin – Sapele – Warri Road East – West Road (Warri – Kaiama – Ahoada – Port Harcourt – Eket – Oron) Yenegwe Road Junction – Kolo – Otuoke Road Sapele – Agbor – Ewu Road Benin – Akure – Ore – Ife Road Ikot Ekpene – Aba – Owerri Road - Jattau – Fugar – Agenebode Road Bodo – Bonny Road with Bridge across Opobo Channel Port Harcourt – Onne Road - Agbor – Sakpoba – Ogharefe Road Odukpani Junction – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road.

"The Federal Ministry of Works 2024 capital budget of N892,461,262,656.00, additional funding from multilateral loan projects of N94,828,535,243.00, alongside other expected contributions from sources like the China-Exim Bank and the World Bank, will not be enough for serious work on all the critical roads, some of which I enumerated above, let alone their completion. So why embark on another huge project that will not be completed in the next 20 or 30 years? To do so will only exacerbate the problem of abandoned, uncompleted projects that are not contributing to economic growth and overall development.

"Prioritization and fiscal discipline should be our critical guiding principles now. Therefore, while acknowledging the potential benefits of coastal superhighway infrastructure, I urge prioritization of our existing uncompleted projects.

"We must allocate resources towards repairing and completing existing infrastructure, crucial for the well-being and safety of our society, before embarking on new projects, no matter their perceived benefits. Let's prioritize the urgent needs of our people and ensure that our investments serve the collective good of the nation.

"In any development formula, the primary focus should be on repairing existing infrastructure rather than embarking on colossal projects that may never reach completion within the next 30 years.
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