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Home » Tinubu placing personal interest above public interest — Atiku

Tinubu placing personal interest above public interest — Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has lampooned President Bola Tinubu, for pacing his personal interest above public interest, in the award of contracts.

Cites Tinubu son’s membership of Chagoury’s board

Atiku Abubakar who was the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, stated that President Tinubu’s son and his surrogates are on the board of companies owned by Gilbert Chagoury, whose company was recently awarded the multi billion naira Lagos- Calabar coastal road as clearly constitutes a conflict of interest.

Atiku who cited report by the Paris-based Africa Intelligence News Agency, said Tinubu’s son, Seyi, is a director on the board of CDK Integrated Industries, a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, which manufactures ceramic tiles and sanitary towels.

In a statement on Sunday by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, the PDP leader said, it will be difficult to attract foreign investors to Nigeria, if the government fails to make the process transparent and open.

Read also: Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway bid didn’t follow due process, advise FG to halt it — Doherty tells AGF

Citing a report by Paris-based Africa Intelligence News Agency where it was revealed by the Corporate Affairs Commission that Seyi is officially a business associate of Chagoury, the former Vice President said it was not surprising that the Chagoury Group had become the biggest beneficiary of the Tinubu largesse.

BPP source reveales that contract did not follow due process

This is just as BusinessDay checks at Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Nigeria’s due process agency also revealed that the Lagos to Calabar coastal road did not follow due process as there were no bid documents to support the award of the contract.

A source at the BPP told BusinessDay that the agency simply approved the award of the contract to the Hitech Road Construction Company, based on a letter from the Presidency.

“Under a normal circumstance, the project ought to have gone through a proper bid process and after a certificate of no objection by the BPP, the evaluation report should have been sent to the federal Executive Council FEC, for approval before the award. But what we saw was a letter from the Presidency informing the BPP that the contract was awarded to the company, which the BPP DG simply approved,”the source said.

“Thanks to quality reporting by Africa Intelligence, our suspicions have been confirmed that Chagoury and Tinubu are indeed business partners and it has been formalized with Seyi on the board of one of Chagoury’s firms.”

Read also: Everything about Lagos-Calabar coastal highway has wrong smells

The former Vice President restated that it has become obvious even to the undiscerning that the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway is being done in a hurry purely because of the business relationship between Tinubu and Gilbert Chagoury, the owner of Hitech, the contractor that was awarded the contract for the highway project in contravention of the procurement laws.

“It is on record that this project is the most expensive single project ever embarked upon by the Nigerian government. The fact that it is happening at a time Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis ever is a red flag.

According to him, “To add insult to injury, this project that is being done in excess of $13bn was awarded without a competitive bidding. From all indications, the so-called Badagry-Sokoto highway would be awarded in a similar fashion at an enormous cost to taxpayers purely because Tinubu has put his personal interest ahead of the Nigerian people.”

Atiku also faulted demolition of tourist and recreational facilities and other properties within the Oniru corridor, including parts of Landmark, without ample notice, describing it as “one of the reasons foreign direct investments continue to elude the country”

He argued that rather than improving the ease of doing business, the Tinubu administration had shown to the world that his personal business interest and that of his family would always be prioritised over and above national interest.

The former PDP presidential candidate stated, “Tinubu has been globetrotting in search of foreign direct investments. He claims to have secured over $30 billion from various companies, but none has been forthcoming. Rather, all manufacturing firms have been posting heavy losses while some are exiting due to his poorly implemented exchange rate unification policy with even Aliko Dangote describing it as a huge mess at the recent annual general meeting of Dangote Sugar Refinery.

“The IMF in its latest report stated that Nigeria will by the end of the year become the 4th largest economy in Africa behind South Africa, Egypt and Algeria, a disgraceful development for a nation which was the largest in Africa by a mile when the PDP left the stage in 2015.

“Investors are seeing how local businesses are being treated and will not come to a place where their investments will not be protected. In saner climes, businesses such as Landmark would have been given at least two years’ notice in order for effective planning. But Tinubu’s eagerness to satisfy his business partners impaired his ability to coordinate the project properly.

“The awarding of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway was rushed; the environmental impact assessment report was not even completed; the right of way for the 700 km stretch of the highway project was not secured; it was converted from a PPP to a government funded project within the twinkle of an eye.

The N500m that was approved by the National Assembly for the project was ignored, while over N1tn was released by Tinubu’s administration without approval from the National Assembly.

“From falsely claiming to have removed subsidies to secretly paying billions monthly based on the revelation of Nasir el-Rufai, the Tinubu administration has shown a lack of coordination and transparency, failing to even explain to Nigerians why there is petrol scarcity across the country.”

The former Vice President also advised Tinubu and his economic team to “do less of propaganda and focus on improving the ease of doing business as this remained the surest path to sustainability.”

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