The Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, has been questioned over the government’s decision to award a contract for the construction of the Gusau Cargo Airport worth ₦62.8 billion.

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A former chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Sani Shinkafi, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, questioned the ₦62.8 billion contract award process.

According to him, the contract was awarded without due process and that the project’s cost is inflated.

It would be recalled that former governor Bello Matawalle initially awarded the airport construction contract to AVIC International Engineering Limited for ₦11.4 billion.

The government paid ₦3.5 billion (30% mobilization) to start work and an additional ₦2.3 billion (20% of the contract sum) due to the COVID-19 lockdown, totaling ₦5.8 billion paid for the project.

Shinkafi claimed that the previous administration had already completed the project’s design and paid compensation to affected farmers, but the current government revoked the contract and re-awarded it at a much higher cost.

He stated, “Governance is a continuum, a relay race where an elected leader completes their tenure and hands over the baton to their successor for the sustainable development of the state. It is essential to build upon the achievements of predecessors rather than dismantling their progress.

“However, it is absurd, inconceivable, and preposterous to revoke an ongoing project and re-award it at an inflated cost of ₦62.8 billion, making it one of the most expensive airports in Nigeria. These actions go against the principles of good governance and prudent management of resources.

“The people of Zamfara State now long for the good old days of Governor Bello Matawalle’s administration, which demonstrated a commitment to progress and development.

“We must resist anti-democratic and anti-people policies and actions, and instead strive for a better society where governance is tailored to meet the needs of the people.”

Meanwhile, AVIC International Engineering Limited has approached the Federal High Court Abuja in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1188/2023 to seek redress over the contract revocation.

The company is also seeking a court order to restrain the Zamfara State Government from re-awarding the contract to another company.