CSO Frowns at Zamfara Governor Lawal Over N62.8bn Zamfara Airport Contract

CSO Frowns at Zamfara Governor Lawal Over N62.8bn Zamfara Airport Contract

  • The re-awarding of the Gusau International Airport construction for ₦62.8 billion by Zamfara State has drawn sharp criticism
  • A civil society led by Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi criticized the decision, noting the project was initially allocated ₦11.5 billion by former governor Bello Matawalle
  • The group highlighted that the funds could have been better spent on essential state needs like maintaining the water board

The re-awarding of the Gusau international airport construction by the Zamfara State government for N62.8 billion has sparked criticism.

Recently, Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal and the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, laid the foundation for the project in Gusau.

Zamfara state governor, Dauda Lawal
Zamfara state governor, Dauda Lawal Photo credit: Dauda Lawal
Source: Facebook

However, Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, Executive Director of Patriot for Advancement of Peace and Social Development, contended that the amount far exceeded the N11.5 billion allocated for the same project by former governor Bello Matawalle, The Sun reported.

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In a statement on Saturday, June 22, Shinkafi questioned why Governor Lawal did not continue the project initiated by previous administrations and why there was a rush to proceed while the matter was still in court, implying potential ulterior motives.

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He said:

“Despite being aware that the matter was in court, Governor Lawal audaciously re-awarded the airport project for an astounding ₦62.8 billion, which is roughly a 600% increase compared to the ₦11.5 billion awarded to AVIC International Engineering Limited by Bello Matawalle’s administration.
“Given that governance is continuous, the people of Zamfara State expected Dauda Lawal to continue the airport project as his predecessors did from 2008 to 2023, inviting the Minister of Aviation or another national leader to commission it, instead of squandering taxpayers' money on a lavish re-flag off ceremony for the Gusau International Cargo Airport.

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The group went futher to note that channeling such amount of money for re-awarding of the project was insensitive, adding that the money should have been chanelled to maintain the state's water board, among other needs, Daily Independent reported.

Wondering why the ongoing project was revoked by current state government, the group said:

"It is absurd, inconceivable, and preposterous that an ongoing project would be revoked and re-awarded for an exorbitant ₦62.8 billion, making it one of Nigeria's most expensive airports.
"Zamfara State urgently needs a visionary, purposeful, resourceful, and people-oriented leader whose government will create policies and execute projects that benefit the long-suffering citizens in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, rather than the current grandstanding, propagandist, and wasteful approach.
"The good people of Zamfara State now long for the better days of Governor Bello Matawalle’s administration (2019 – 2023)."

Zamfara governor, Lawal speaks on new 'smart' airport

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In a related report, the construction work for Gusau International Airport, Zamfara state, officially commenced on Thursday, June 20, 2044.

Dauda Lawal, the governor of Zamfara state, said the new airport is designed to accommodate domestic and international flights.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony held at the airport site on Kaura Namoda Road, Gusau, the governor said the airport will be smart and equipped with modern facilities.

Source: Legit.ng

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Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for Legit.ng, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: ezra.ukanwa@corp.legit.ng or +2349036989944