The CEO, Esthoj Multi-disciplinary Group, Dr Okorunkiya Joshua Olutayo has called for the enactment of laws that will address the spate of abandoned public infrastructure projects nationwide, noting that some of the projects do not only become hideouts for criminals, but also signatures of shame, economic loss and evidence of leadership indiscretion in Nigeria.
Speaking to at an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Abuja, Olutayo, who is a Chartered Quantity and Civil Engineering Surveyor proffered that laws must be enacted to stop the ugly trend, adding that they constitute no mean waste of economic resources and human efforts.
Recalling some of the worthwhile but abandoned infrastructure projects in Nigeria, he said: ‘Rivers State under Amaechi took a loan of USD 57.39 billion naira for infrastructure development, the project began but was not completed as at Amaechi’s handing over. His predecessor has refused to complete the project, yet Rivers State government is re-paying the loan since the money was not loaned to Amaechi but to Rivers state.
The expert further explained that ‘Port Harcourt International Airport is another monument that has become an eyesore as a result of the failure of government to complete its renovation.’
The renovation of the airport has long been abandoned to the detriment of Nigerians, he said.
‘Passengers use torchlight to search for luggage because very important sections of the lobby have no electricity.
‘Sadly, Nigerians are so happy when they go to Dubai and we snap a lot of beautiful photographs of airports of foreign nations and spend so much to spend the photos to our loved ones at home, yet we forget that we have abandoned our projects and monuments of national pride to rot away indiscriminately.
The TRUTH reports that among the world’s most beautiful airports are New Zealand’s Wellington International Airport, King Abdulazeez International Airport, Jeddah, Dubai International Airport at the United Arab Emirates, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport and in China, there is the Beijing Capital International Airport.
According to Olutayo, ‘airports are aviation infrastructure that are usually deliberately designed and beautified to show-off a nation’s pride to foreigners.’ He however lamented that Nigeria seems to be unpatriotic toward self in terms of harnessing the advantages of national pride that abound in developing airport infrastructure.
‘We are so fascinated by the beauty of neighboring international airports while we can’t do same in Port Harcourt airport because there is nothing good to show-off about it.
‘In Qatar, you see Nigerians happily taking photographs at the airports because it is so beautiful that it will inspire a stranger to photography, but it’s sad that we can’t do that here in Nigeria.
Olutayo quoted a passenger who ‘travelled by road from Edo through Ekpoma and Okpella to Auchi’ as saying: ‘The road which was being dualised has been abandoned’ stating that the passenger counted ‘nine accidents and a trailer that got burnt while lives were lost.
While saying that Lokoja – Abuja road which was being dualised has long also been abandoned, Dr Olutayo expressed concern that government cleared the road because of kidnapping but failed to execute needed repairs.
‘The road from Ajaokuta to Uyo is horrible, and nothing has changed on that road.
‘Within the FCT, the road linking Bwari and Jere is yet to be completed, but it is already spoilt because it is not being constructed according to design,’ he said adding that the supervisors who supervised the project neglected their responsibility of checkmating the contractor.
‘So the supervisors are as guilty as the contractors who executed the project,’ he added.