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Demanding accountability on the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway debacle

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Minister of Works, Engineer Dave Umahi

By Sadiq Muhammed

When some concerned citizens questioned the strategic value of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, particularly given our ongoing struggle to maintain land-based highways, a member of our community noted a significant issue. They pointed out that the proposed realignment would likely be abandoned because, a few miles ahead, the builders would encounter numerous submarine telecom and internet cables. Despite raising this concern, no one seemed to investigate further. In essence, the realigned route was deemed unfeasible because destroying these cables would plunge Nigeria into internet and telephony darkness.
Recently, this prediction came true: “The federal government has shelved and diverted the realignment of the Lagos-Calabar coastal road project, thereby saving the telecommunications infrastructure and submarine cables in the area.”
I call on Mr. President to address this issue and hold accountable those responsible. Nigeria has many intelligent individuals, and finding a competent team should not be a struggle. It is unacceptable that the locations of our core telecom infrastructure were not checked before approving the route. It is hard to believe that someone in the telecom regulatory body did not flag this issue to the government. These cables were not unknown entities; they have been installed for over 17 years.
Regardless of political affiliation, religion, or tribe, we must demand accountability from those working in the government. If these individuals destroyed private properties fully aware that the project would have to be halted due to these cables, we need an explanation. This situation is both ridiculous and embarrassing on a national level. We deserve to know why this happened and who is responsible. A project worth sixteen trillion naira is not a joke; heads must roll. Mr. President, we are keen to know the truth.

Muhammed can be reached at sadiqu2013@gmail.com and on

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