PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari was invited by former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos to commission some of his landmark projects before he quit office on May 29, 2019.
Among the projects commissioned on April 24 were the Oshodi Interchange, the Airport Road expansion project, and new facilities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.
The fact is that besides the facilities in LASUTH and the Airport Road (which only became functional a few days later) virtually every other project was still under construction at the point of commissioning. To date, the Oshodi Interchange remains a construction site with no visible indication of when an otherwise laudable project would be put to use.
Earlier on November 7, 2016, President Buhari had also commissioned what was described as five-star Specialist Hospital in Benin, Edo State, which was envisaged to end the spate of medical tourism abroad by Nigeria’s upper class.
While commissioning it, the President had said that it was the best thing that the government at that time could have done for the people. Till date, the hospital is yet to be put to use.
Also, a bus terminal Buhari commissioned in Ikeja on May 29, 2018 is still under construction with no date of actual use in sight.
Similarly, the Governor Godswill Akpabio administration in Akwa Ibom State before it left office in May 2015, commissioned what was described as a “world-class” Ibom Specialist Hospital.
Remarkably, when a few weeks out of power the former governor was involved in a motor accident in Abuja, he flew abroad for treatment. It has since emerged that just one floor of the four floors was ready as only the façade was painted over to portray a completed project.
All over Nigeria, public officials have been taking the populace for a ride with the commissioning of uncompleted projects. In most cases, this politically-motivated commissioning mania brings about poor quality execution. The Lagos -Abeokuta Expressway in Lagos commissioned five months ago by the Ambode administration while still under construction has already developed a rash of potholes!
It is especially reprehensible that the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows itself to be mixed up with this unwholesome practice. By doing this the President is dragging his reputation in the mud.
We advise the President not to allow himself to be used by governors or even his own ministers to play politics with public amenities which are supposedly meant to lift the standard of living of the people.
When a project is commissioned it means it is ready for use by the public. Many fraudulently commissioned projects have ended up being abandoned. Such is the case of Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
This is unacceptable.