The Senate, yesterday, queried the approval of N63.5 billion for the construction of the second Runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, saying it was an attempt to ‘steal and rape’ Nigerians of the country’s wealth.
The Senate called on the federal government to reduce the unrealistic cost of construction and for the government to monitor the contract award process.
Presenting the motion, Senator Melaye said that the contract for the construction of the runway was previously cancelled by the last administration after allegation of over inflation of contract.
Melaye, said that the contract was awarded by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at N64 billion after ratification by the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, contended that there was also the need for the construction of a second runway since, according to him, “the existing one is not only bad but inadequate.”
He said: “The publication that the contract is already undergoing review and to be awarded at N63.5 billion as published by newspapers is another attempt to steal and rape Nigerians of our common patrimony. Further convinced by the fact that the entire Gombe Airport with 36km runway cost of N8.2 billion; Jigawa Airport cost N12 billion, Enugu Airport was constructed and expanded at 13 billion naira and Akwa Ibom Airport at N18.05 billion .
“This astronomical amount is about four times the cost of constructing a brand new airport in Nigeria. As a representative of the people, we must advise that due process and strict adherence to Public Procurement Act be observed in the said contract of the Second Abuja Airport Runaway. If this not brought to attention of the government now, there may be another fraud in the making, given the comparative analysis of cheaper cost across the country. “
The Senate President also complained about the cost and said that there was the need to stop what he described as the reckless expenditures, while awarding contracts in the country.