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SuperHighway, another unnecessary debt burden, BudgIT warns Cross River govt
BudgIT has warned Cross River State Government to halt the proposed Superhighway considering the poor environmental and financial appraisal of the project as well as the debt burden it places on the state. Cross River Government has initiated plans to build a 275km superhighway, initially put at N800bn but has been revised to N200bn. The […]
“The State government recently claimed that its superhighway investors will make returns on investment through collected toll fees from vehicles and trucks that ply the highway, evacuating the proposed Bakassi deep sea port.”
“There are already two roads that link Calabar to Benue and NDDC as well as the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have committed to fixing these roads. Why not support the Federal Government rather than build an expensive superhighway that terminates at Benue?
“We advise the Cross River State Government to focus the N200bn fund on other viable approaches such as building an information technology hub, renewable energy for Agric processing, empowering SMEs and also creating a stronger eco-tourism profile for the state.”
“The State Government will tamper with a large trove of biodiversity, and conservative estimates and N700m proposal as compensation is grossly absurd.
According to the Cross River State government, the super highway project will be funded by a Public-Private Agreement.
According to the group, our research has also shown that considering the low topography of the defined area, building a deep sea port at the proposed site will not only be technologically challenging but unreasonably expensive to maintain, due to constant dredging to maintain the depth required for large vessels.
BudgIT also claimed its analysis showed that it would take 100 years for funds invested on the highway to be recouped, adding “plus the Bakassi deep sea port is yet to exist, and up until now, no organisation has signed up to the funding of the deep-sea port project.”
BudgIT has warned Cross River State Government to halt the proposed Superhighway considering the poor environmental and financial appraisal of the project as well as the debt burden it places on the state.
BudgIT’s Lead Partner, Oluseun Onigbinde, in a statement on Thursday, said the proposed project is ambitious, expensive and another of Cross River’s penchant for “for bogus projects which have made it the state with the 4th largest external debt”.
Cross River Government has initiated plans to build a 275km superhighway, initially put at N800bn but has been revised to N200bn.
He said, “We see this as an ambitious and expensive project. As an organization interested in public accountability, there has been too little explanation on the human and environmental cost of the superhighway as well as the viability for investors.
The government claimed that the superhighway will evacuate cargos from the proposed Calabar deep-sea port to the central and northern parts of Nigeria as well as Chad and Niger.
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