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You don't know figures  — Umahi wants to school Atiku on cost of coastal road project

Umahi promised to address a press conference in Lagos to give Atiku proper information about the road project.

David Umahi.

Atiku had recently alleged that the 700 km road project is shrouded in secrecy, adding that President Bola Tinubu awarded the contract to his friend, Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without competitive bidding.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election also questioned why the Tinubu government allocated ₦1.06 trillion for the initial phase, which accounts for 6% of the project.

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Reacting to Atiku’s criticism of the project, Umahi while fielding questions from journalists on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, described Atiku’s statement as unfortunate, saying the former Vice President lacked an understanding of figures.

The former Governor of Ebonyi State said he would address a press conference in Lagos to give Atiku proper information about the road project.

“I am going to give him proper information. I will address a world press conference in Lagos. If there is anything he thinks is wrong with the procurement, he should approach me. He should leave the President alone.

“It is quite degrading on my part for him (Atiku) to think that a former party chairman, former deputy governor, governor for eight years, a senator, that I am not a stakeholder in this country and that I will do the wrong thing.

“So he doesn’t understand figures and I’m going to run figures for him to understand and for him to understand how prudent the administration of President Bola Tinubu is,” he said.

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The minister further said President Tinubu once engaged him on the cost of the project and when he ran the figures with him, he (Tinubu) convinced him to bring down the cost.

The President had once engaged me on the cost of the project and I had to run the figures with Mr President. He (Tinubu) still thinks I should bring down the cost of projects, Umahi disclosed.

At the same time the contractors are crying that I am oppressing them so much because what they were getting better before they are no longer getting. So, Mr. Vice President, Atiku Abubakar must know that I am between and betwixt”

He promised to make the cost of the project available to Nigerians. saying he has seen the figures Atiku parades.

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I have seen the figures they are parading, but my figures are quite better than those figures and I understand this engineering,” the minister said.

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