The Network for the Actualization of Social Growth and Viable Development (NEFGAD) has called on River State Government to approach the Guinness Book of World Records for certification of its 50.15 kilometres Port Harcourt Ring Road Contract awarded at the cost of N195.3 billion standing at approximately N4 billion per kilometre as the most expensive road in the world.
The group accused Rivers State Government of outrageous cost of contract award in the state, insisting that recent contract award was nothing more than a bazaar.
It said the Rivers State Government recently awarded the world’s most expensive contract in the anal of public procurement in Nigeria and globally.
In a statement released at the weekend in Abuja by the Executive Secretary of the Group, Mr Akingunola Omoniyi, quoted River state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, to have tweeted a video on July 11 where he revealed that the Port Harcourt ring road project was awarded at the cost of N195.3 billion.
NEFGAD, reacting to the governor’s disclosure, said, ‘’the 50.15 kilometres Port Harcourt Ring Road Contract awarded at the cost of N195.3 billion standing at approximately N4 billion per kilometre shows that the Rivers state government is insensitive to the economic plight of the people and engaging in a show of shame by coming to the public to sign such world’s most flamboyant and luxurious contract.”
The statement further read that: “The Anti-Corruption Group has observed with dismay that the cost of road construction in Nigeria has been consistently outrageous which now calls for serious concern and scrutiny. Going by a World Bank report, the cost of constructing 1km of road is less than half a billion Naira anywhere in the world irrespective of topographic differences. This figure is the benchmark that should not be surpassed regardless of several factors except vested interest that usually characterize public contract in Nigeria,
“The only thing left out of the contract is for the Rivers state government to apply to the Guinness World Record (GWR) for verification and certification as world’s most expensive contract.
“This is barbaric, outrageous and questionable and will not go unchallenged’” Mr Akingunola stated.
He however called on relevant anti-corruption agencies to look into the procurement process and all financial details of the contract for possible remedy, failure which should compel them to engage in serious advocacy against the uneconomic practice of the Rivers state government.