2016 Budget: Lagos- Calabar Railway Project Controversies Unnecessary South-East APC

2016 Budget: Lagos- Calabar Railway Project Controversies Unnecessary South-East APC

By Chris Suleiman, Abuja

As the controversies on the 2016 Budget rages on, particularly with regard to the Lagos- Calabar Railway Project, the  Caucus of South East Zone of All Progressives Congress (APC) have waded into the matter by asking the National Assembly members to allow the matter rest.

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The South-east caucus in a press conference addressed by its Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu said their intervention was  anchored on the truism of millions of employment opportunities and economic prosperity which the project will engender.

Osita also said: “We appeals to the National Assembly to let the Lagos-Calabar Railway Project be; as we have listened carefully to all the cacophony of voices and none has condemned the project as irreverent  or building bridge to nowhere.

He said the blame game as well as the controversies generated by this Calabar-Lagos railway is unnecessary, uncalled for  and an ill wind which blows no one good.

Osita added that “We need projects like the Lagos-Calabar to create massive employment and revamp the economy. More so when the reality is that both the Executive arm and Legislative arm are on the same page on the Lagos-Calabar Railway Project is of urgent national importance.

“We also understand that the Lagos-Calabar Project is in the China-Shopping-List of President Muhammadu Buhari,GCFR, for Nigeria’s infrastructural renewal.  This being the case, what kind of message are those opposed to the project in the National Assembly sending to the Chinese government if they continue to bicker over mundane procedure? Is it sabotage ?

He said the issue in question as to do with procedural lapses on whether it was not presented or lately presented or early presented by Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amechi, the Minister of Transport.

He also said the matter  should be forthwith discarded in our collective national interest. For us, the prevailing position is that the project has been publicly presented to the nation and by extension to the whole world. All indication is that there is a national consensus in support of the project.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we of the South East Zone of APC do not subscribe to the insinuation making the round, that those opposed to the project are afraid of the political gains Mr President will make in the South East and South South. They allege that if the project sails, coupled with his success on the war against corruption and containment of insurgency, he will be unstoppable. Hence the fear that the two zones may support him in 2019, given the political value of the project.

“Our counsel, let’s not throw the baby away with the bath water, for the welfare and prosperity of Nigerians far outweigh political gains. To erase this ungodly insinuation, we once more appeal to the National Assembly not to be caught in political cross-fire.

“We reckon that Nigerians have all along enjoyed the cordial Bi-Partisan relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms, which hitherto existed since the convocation of the National Assembly in June 2015, which made it possible for the ministers and other appointees to cleared seamlessly. Let the cordial Bi-Partisan relationship continue for good of the polity.

“In sum, to avoid gridlock, let the Lagos-Calabar Project and other employment generating and infrastructural projects be accommodated in 2016 Budget, since they can be financed via Treasury Single Account, loans and recovered looted funds.

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