In response to the criticism made by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on the planned Lagos-Calabar Coastal road embarked upon by the federal government, the Presidency has responded harshly to the remarks of the former VP.

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Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, yesterday in a statement said “Seeking to be a kill-joy, Atiku Abubakar engaged in red-herring by raising ill-thought-out allegations that only exposed his inadequacies and those of his team in getting the basic facts on an issue he badly seeks to nail the government.

“We have decided, however, to respond to Atiku’s misrepresentation of facts in matters of the coastal road if only to set the record straight so that unsuspecting Nigerians are not misled and misinformed.

“We owe it a sacred duty to ensure Atiku and his handlers do not continue to spread disinformation as they wallow in their politics of hatred.”

Onanuga clarified that at no time did the administrations of former Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan award contracts for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway to any company at any varied and revised amount, adding that the question of costs comparison could not have arisen.

He said the contract that was awarded was that of Lagos-Calabar coastal rail.

He added “The rail was designed as part of the standard gauge national rail network. The contract was awarded on August 4, 2021 by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by former Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), at the cost of $11.17 billion. The contract was to be completed in six years. The project didn’t take off.

“The Lagos-Calabar coastal rail project has always been on the card. It was another testament of the failure of the previous PDP-led government that it could not get it off the ground in 16 years it held sway.

“The Lagos-Calabar coastal highway and Lagos-Calabar coastal rail are two distinct projects. It is unfortunate that the former vice president is confused about the two projects.”