EXCLUSIVE: Tinubu Ally’s Hitech Construction Company Gets BPP Go-Ahead To Seek Approval For Over N1Trillion From Nigerian Government For 47.5km Section Of Lagos-Calabar Road

Regarding the source of funding, the document noted that “Mr. President approved that the Phase 1; Section I of the Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road Corridor project shall be funded by the Federal Government.

The Nigerian Government through the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has granted Hitech Construction Company Limited the go-ahead to seek the approval of the Federal Executive Council for over N1 trillion for the first phase of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road. 

Hitech Construction Company, which is handling the project, had requested N1,101,771,271,871.01 (One Trillion, One Hundred and One Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Two Hundred and Seventy-One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy-One Naira and One kobo) only, inclusive of 7.5% Vat for the construction of the Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road Corridor, Phase 1; Section I: from Ahmadu Bello Way to Eleko Village Area in Lekki Peninsula

According to a document titled, ‘Certificate Of No Objection For Award Of Contract’ from the BPP, dated February 23, 2024, the section of the road is 47.474km.

The document obtained by SaharaReporters was signed by Mamman Ahmadu, Director-General, BPP and Engr. Isaiah G. Yesufu, Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP. 

The document partly reads: “The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) having examined your request and all the documents forwarded confirms that the projects has satisfied all due process requirements for issuance of a “No Objection” to proceed to seek Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) Approval for the award of the Contract

It listed the Project Name as “Award of Contract for the Construction of Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road Corridor, Phase 1; Section I: Ahmadu Bello Way to Eleko Village Area in Lekki Peninsula (CH 0+00 – CH 47.474km).” 

The Project Contractor is Messrs Hitech Construction Company Limited while the BPP Reviewed Proiect Cost is “N1,067,887,381,148.61 (One Trillion, Sixty-Seven Billion, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Seven Million, Three Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, One Hundred and Forty-Eight Naira and Sixty-One kobo) only, inclusive of 7.5% Vat.”

The Cost Reduction is N33,883,890,722.40 Thirty-Three Billion, Eight Hundred and tighty-Three Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Two Naira and Forty Kobo) only.

Regarding the source of funding, the document noted that “Mr. President approved that the Phase 1; Section I of the Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road Corridor project shall be funded by the Federal Government.”

“The approval was conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Works vide State House letter Ref. No. PRES/89/MW/18 dated January 24, 2024,” it added, noting that the implementing ministry/agency is the Federal Ministry of Works. 

On April,  the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, said the coastal road project would cost a tentative sum of N15.356 trillion and that the project would be completed in eight years.

The minister said this when he was featured on Channels Television’s Morning Brief programme.

Umahi also said that the contractor handling the project, Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech Construction Company Limited (Hitech) did not do any competitive bidding for the project, rather, the contract was awarded to the company based on its track record, not on sentiments as being insinuated in some quarters.

When asked for clarifications on the cost of the project, how it was approved in line with the Public Procurement Act and if due process was followed, Umahi said, “I don’t understand what you mean by due process. Yes, due process was followed. People are concerned about whether it was appropriated for, and I say yes.

“In the 2024 Appropriation, you will find Lagos-Calabar coastal road and it is appropriated for. In appropriation and procurement, what is in the appropriation may not necessarily be what is in the procurement but the most important thing is that it is appropriated for and it followed due process.

The due process is that we did our in-house evaluation of what we submitted. Some people said that this project is PPP (Public–private partnership), it is not PPP. It is EPC+F, which is Engineering, Procurement, Construction plus Finance. In EPC+F. There is a commitment in terms of funds from the Federal Government, depending on the negotiation.”

On the bidding process of the project as the contractor handling the project, Chagoury, has a close relationship with President Bola Tinubu, the minister said, “I am an engineer. I work by reality and not by sentiment.

“In the procurement act which is a law, you are allowed as a ministry to invite contractors that have special skills in a particular kind of work and negotiate with them and give out the job to them. We did that on the Third Mainland Bridge project.

“When it comes to the coastal road, we looked at the problem of ocean surge and the pedigree of the companies that have the capacity and track record of doing that, we looked at the Eko Atlantic in Lagos and remembered how Hitech was the only company that was able to solve the problem of flood that was taking of Victoria Island.

“They (Hitech) have the pedigree and track record of the ability to contain the ocean surge problems. They also have a proven track record of reinforced concrete road pavement.”

On the cost of the project, Umahi who earlier said that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar did not understand figures, noted, “If you use a dollar to N1,200, his argument comes up to about N19 billion per kilometre. A standard carriageway is 11.55 metres, which is 7.3 inner shoulder of 5.3, outer shoulder of 2.75. We used this 11.55 to do our analysis.”

When asked the exact amount the project would cost the Nigerian government under the EPC+F arrangement and the completion period of the project, the minister said, “We are looking at eight years, life tenure of Mr. President.”

He said tentatively, the cost of the project is about N15.356 trillion but added that “I cannot append my signature to that because it can come down and it can go up depending on the situation.

“It is going to be a tentative figure. I am proud of myself that this project is the most prudent project that I’m starting.”


SaharaReporters on September 24, 2023 reported how the multi-billion firm awarded the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, Hitech Road Construction Company, a subsidiary of Hitech Construction Company was owned by a Nigerian-Lebanese developer with alleged criminal records, Gilbert Chagoury.

Hitech is a division of the Chagoury Group, a business conglomerate owned by Chagoury, a known business partner of the Nigerian President, Tinubu.

Eko Atlantic in Lagos is also the brainchild of the businessman.

Years back, Chagoury was banned from getting a visa on terrorism grounds for allegedly funding a political coalition, Hezbollah, which the United States deems a terrorism group.

He was also in the past accused of drug dealings by the US and Lebanese governments.

The Los Angeles Times, which did a deep dive on Chagoury — in its August 30, 2016 edition, said that Chagoury’s visa troubles likely stem from his support of a Christian Lebanese politician.

The politician, Michel Aoun, is part of the same political coalition as Hezbollah, which the United States deems a terror group.

Since the 1990s, Chagoury was reported to have cultivated a friendship with the Clinton’s family, in part by writing big checks, including an estimated $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, this is despite being a non-citizen forbidden by law to make donations to the campaigns of US politicians.

He however flouted that law with his numerous donations. By the time Hillary Clinton became secretary of State, the relationship was strong enough for one of Bill Clinton’s closest aides to push for Chagoury to get access to top diplomats and thus began the US exploring a deal to build a consulate at the Eko Atlantic city.

Between 2012 and 2016, he sought to help fund election campaigns of some US politicians. He donated to the Republicans and was listed as a sponsor for a 2014 art exhibit at the George W Bush Presidential Center.

One other campaign he funded was that of Jeff Fortenberry, a US lawmaker, in 2016

Fortenberry later convicted of concealing information and making false statements to US federal authorities who were investigating illegal contributions made by Chagoury who is a foreign national, to his re-election campaign.

Fortenberry resigned from office after his conviction.

However, in 2019, Chagoury reportedly paid $1.8 million in fines to resolve the investigation when it began.

Born in Nigeria to Lebanese immigrants, the businessman flourished in the 1990s through his close association with the late dictator, Sani Abacha by receiving development deals and oil franchises.

After Abacha’s death in 1998, the Nigerian government hired lawyers to track down funds stolen through associates of the late dictator.

The trail led to bank accounts all over the world, some under Gilbert Chagoury’s control.

In 2000, the Lebanese businessman was convicted by a Swiss court for laundering some of the funds Abacha looted from Nigeria.

He agreed to pay a fine of about 1 million Swiss francs (about $600,000) at that time to get his Swiss conviction expunged and handed back $66 million to the Nigerian government but denied knowing the funds were stolen

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