*Says contract highly inflated
ONITSHA—The Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Dr Chris Ngige, has faulted President Goodluck Jonathan on the construction of the 2nd Niger bridge on the grounds that the estimated cost of N114 billion for the project was highly inflated.
Speaking on the occasion of the swearing in of the new state and local government executives of Anambra State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Awka, Ngige said the estimated cost was a rip off on the economy of the country, saying the project would have cost N70 billion on PPP arrangement.
He said: “I did not go for the ground breaking of the 2nd Niger bridge because it is been built on PPP arrangement and because the cost of the project suffered double inflation from the Nigeria government and the foreign financier partner.
Ngige said: “With this arrangement, the financier would like to recoup his money by building toll gate there which he would collect for 25 years.
Kicks against tolling
“Each vehicle passing to and fro would be expected to pay N1000. How can that bridge and road be the only toll gate bridge in Nigeria when the federal government had built such bridges in and around the country free off charge.”
Ngige cited the Ediba- Itigidi bridge which the federal government built for the people of the area without any cost, saying the present federal government of President Jonathan had made the people of the South East third class citizens.
Slams the Federal Government on rising unemployment
Besides, the former governor of Anambra State chided Jonathan’s government for not creating employment for the unemployed graduates in the country, describing it as a cankaworm that was responsible for various crimes in the society.
On security, Ngige appealed to the federal government to increase the federal allocation of the northern governors who were using their allocation to combat the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
He advised the new state and local government executives to be visionary, committed and mobilise support for the party to win the presidential election come 2015, so the issue of corruption and other social malaise would be arrested.
Also speaking on the occasion, National Auditor of the party, Chief George Muoghalu, cautioned members of the party to be steadfast in their commitment to the party, especially in view of the 2015 general election.
“The money bags politicians are back to throw money around. If they give you money, take but do not sell your conscience. Remain committed and focussed,” he said.
Muoghalu advised the new executive not to abuse the power given to them by the party and counselled members to always channel their complaint to the executive instead of causing crisis in the party.