• en

‘My Day To Brag’: Tinubu Hails Umahi, Chagoury As He Lays Foundation Stone For Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway

President Tinubu says the Lagos- Calabar coastal highway is more than a road, but a symbol of hope, unity and prosperity

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu lauded Nigeria’s Minister of Works David Umahi, Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury of Hitech Construction, as well as Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, as he laid the foundation stone for the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

Speaking on Sunday in Lagos, President Tinubu said he was “very happy” and should be allowed to “brag” during an event to commission the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway and other projects to commemorate his first year in office as Nigeria’s President.

Tinubu, during his speech, appreciated those who he said had contributed greatly to the realisation of the coastal highway, saying, “Ambassador Gilbert Chagoury, and my partner in daring, Engineer Roland Chagoury. We worked together to tame the Atlantic and turned a disaster into a great asset of great value. 

“We lost weight, we took abuses, but we tamed the Atlantic. We achieved our goals. Here again, we are in it together. Thank you, Roland, for being who you are.

“A particular stakeholder, responsible corporate leader, Aliko Dangote, thank you for understanding, your faith and investment in Africa and the enduring capacity to navigate the stormy water of business. Yes, Nigeria is going through a patch, but we depend on you to continue to invest so that other people will emulate and copy your example. Thank you Aliko.

“Distinguished senators, to me, today is my day to brag. Whether you like it or not, we are here and hope is here. If you have hope, you have Asiwaju, you have Dave (referring to Minister of Works David Umahi), the dream is done. The dream is realisable. We are set on a journey determined to build a nation of prosperity.

 “Embark on bold endeavours, so that your country can be successful. Generations yet unborn can have a good landmark, a memory to treasure, and good understanding to copy, good education to promote the other generations. 

“I said earlier, it is my bragging day. We said we will do this road. We are determined to do it. The way we are going, we have a road that will outlast us and outlive all of us here present. That is how to build the future.”

Tinubu had special words for Umahi; “The Minister of Works, who has been diligent and very effective, Engineer David Umahi, I say thank you so much. You have not disappointed us.”

The President further said, “The project is just more than a mere road. It’s a symbol of hope, unity, and prosperity. It will connect communities, bring prosperity to people, create opportunities for millions. We are at it. 

“Looking to the right side of the road, you have opportunities. Hold on to the left side of it, you have prosperity. For our nation to excel, we just have to be bold and courageous in our endeavours.

“Thanks to Hitech for believing in us and believing in the country Nigeria. Not just talking about Lekki Deep-Sea Port and all that economic opportunity along that coast. What a 700-kilometre road, concrete paved road, will bring is just more than imaginable. I go on the next 10 benefits of Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

“During the period of construction, the road will provide direct employment for thousands of people, and indirect employment for tens of thousands of artisans and more. Economic opportunity for millions is being opened. It will fast track the community development, it will bring development closer to the people and give 30 million people improved access to production and marketing centres.”

Tinubu then remarked, “How can you exploit the maritime industry of this country if you don’t embark on bold endeavours?” further saying that Nigeria must take advantage of the United Nations approval of the extension of Nigeria’s continental shelf.

The President then said, “Establishment of more export processing zones along the coastal states is a must. The security in our region will be improved. Don’t even just talk of tourism. This is an endeavour that you cannot just estimate the opportunity that awaits us. 

“You don’t have to travel again to Miami and all that. We have better weather and more sunshine, and then you can open various shops and economic warehouses. We will protect this shoreline.

“We have two spores which will link up the Badagry-Sokoto expressway. It’s under procurement activities right now. I hope the Perm-Sec Works will accelerate the action and decide on this. The financing model is being spelled out.” 

Speaking directly to Umahi, Tinubu said, “I commend the Honourable Minister of Works once again, like I said, it’s my bragging day.

“Don’t be afraid, we will do this road; 700 kilometres. It will be a success for Nigeria, and we will do more of this. You and I together, the whole Nigeria, a very bold endeavour. Please share with me, share in the joy. I am a very happy man today.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi and Chioma Kalu

Follow us on: