Osita Chidoka, former Minister of Aviation and the Head of Digital Communications at the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi were at loggerheads on micro-blogging social medium, Twitter, on Friday.
Chidoka had tweeted, tagging Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, to mention projects embarked upon by the Muhammad Buhari administration.
Name any Rail, Roads, Airports, Hospital that this government initiated https://t.co/znLx70iPLy
— Osita Chidoka (@osita_chidoka) October 12, 2018
Ogunlesi @toluogunlesi, immediately and aptly jumped to the defence of the President when he reeled out a series of former tweets where he has detailed on the infrastructural achievements of the President.
He said: “I assumed we already dealt with this. Nigerians know that is not who starteth what that counteth, it is who finisheth. Anyone can start. Over the last few months I’ve tweeted about dozens of projects Buhari Admin has completed, that were started LONG before 2015. See next tweet.”
Ogunlesi mentioned the projects started by the Goodluck Jonathan administration but were finished by the Buhari administration. He tweeted further when he called the attention of Chidoka to his previous posts on the issue.
When I say the 2019 elections will be a contest of Records, this is what I mean. In the tweet below is one Record. Read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Ogunlesi further pressed Chidoka by asking him to name five(5) projects each in power, rail and road in what he tags an open book examination.
“I invite anyone who would like to support my big brother @osita_chidoka as he takes this very short and simple exam. It’s an open book exam so you are allowed to open textbooks and discuss. Your time starts now. $400bn, 16 years. Name just 5 COMPLETED projects in rail, power, roads.”
Chidoka explained in his answer, albeit, shockingly when he admitted that most projects started by the Jonathan administration were only done to a 30% level. He explained that it takes years to conclude projects because of the modalities that are involved.
“This is the list of ROAD PROJECTS started by GEJ and their status at handover date. @toluogunlesi I hope this helps. Will update you across other sectors because I was involved. When you complete projects give credit to initiators as we will also give you credit for completion.”
This is the list of ROAD PROJECTS started by GEJ and their status at handover date. @toluogunlesi
I hope this helps. Will update you across other sectors because I was involved. When you complete projects give credit to initiators as we will also give you credit for completion pic.twitter.com/RbaHIF9Q7T
Having gone through the document, Ogunlesi revealed his surprise at the flurry of attacks that still come the way of President Buhari as a result of his inability to start projects. He said there are too many projects waiting to be concluded, and explained the logicality behind the President’s stance on completing existent projects.
“I’m honestly puzzled that with the hundreds of 2%-completion 14%-completion projects left behind by PDP (and acknowledged by @osita_chidoka), anyone would have the guts to attack PMB on the basis of ‘what have you started?’ It’s hard to make sense of.”
Ogunlesi further quizzed Chidoka @ositachidoka on his knowledge of a N700bn contract disbursed for projects in the Niger Delta alone. Reports of the audit showed that only a paltry 12% of the projects were completed.
He tweeted; I wonder if @osita_chidokahas seen this report: an audit of the contracts awarded by the Ministry of Niger Delta between 2009 when it was established, and 2015:
700 billion Naira budgeted for 427 projects; 60% of that sum disbursed.
Only 12% of the projects completed. pic.twitter.com/QWjK7lF1P7
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) October 12, 2018
Chidoka, a former Corp Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Commission leapt to the defence of the Jonathan administration when he explained the reasons behind the non-completion of the projects.
“It takes about 1 to 2 years to bring an infrastructure project to FEC. Initial Project design 6-12 mths Procurement of consultant 6 mths Full design and costing 6-9 mths Procurement of contractor 3-6 mths Any awarded project is 30% done. 1st term is for project initiation.”
For this, Ogunlesi replied, “1st Term is for Project Initiation.” But until I challenged you, you were harassing PMB that what has he started and completed. Buhari has decided that he will use his first term to complete projects instead of unnecessarily expanding the list of uncompleted stuff.
“I hope people extend these same yardsticks to PMB. Agreed, Infrastructure work in Nigeria can be a nightmare. Below doesn’t even include the scenario in which communities tell you the land for a road or power plant is ancestral land and they cannot move a shrine. It’s crazy.” he said.
Ogunlesi reminded Chidoka of the many projects left by the Jonathan administration. He asked him if his opinion will change about the completion of projects started by Jonathan by Buhari, when he reeled out documents to back his claims.
I tweeted this a few months ago. It’s a fairly long thread, so will require u to spend some time going through it https://t.co/wQQAByyk0j
When ur done,let me know if you disagree. And if you think starting a new project is more important than finishing old ones.
These were some of Ogunlesi’s tweets in the past to defend the reason behind President Buhari’s choice of concluding flailing projects.
Mr Kọ́lá,the PDP Admin left behind HUNDREDS of abandoned projects, that the Buhari Administration has been painstakingly completing, one by one. Only an IRRESPONSIBLE Govt would set aside important ABANDONED projects to instead be chasing the cheap glory of ‘We started our own!’ https://t.co/s34N1nBlFo
BRF said @FMPWH inherited >200 Abandoned/uncompleted road projects: https://t.co/3kD6cg8bUF
Min of @FMWRNigeria said they inherited 117 unfinished projects https://t.co/9xF9JwyUGQ
TCN inherited 450 containers of power equipment abandoned at the Ports: https://t.co/gfMXSEtILp
Construction work has since started on a new Standard-Gauge Rail line between Lagos and Ibadan. VP @ProfOsinbajo flagged off the project in 2017. The line has a connection to the Lagos Ports Complex. These photos are from March 2018. Est Completion, Q1 2019 Cc. @officialKolaO https://t.co/hwUHL5Kvvj
2016: No water project completed in past 15 years, says minister https://t.co/mU1GMiOBpb
2016: Central Ogbia Water Project completed https://t.co/z4HDxyWhPA
2017: 40MW Kashimbila Hydropower Plant completed https://t.co/h2iP3aXH8G
Mr @officialKolaO, this is the outcome of the Audit carried out by @MNDA_Ng, on Niger Delta projects started between 2009 and 2015: 60% payment but only 12% completion.
Yet you expected @MBuhari Admin to put all that aside and irresponsibly start new projects? Wehdon Sir. https://t.co/DR6npSQlJA
Chidoka also mentioned the construction of some universities as part of infrastructural projects embarked upon by the GEJ administration.
13. Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina
14. Umaru Yar’Adua University Katsina
15. Federal University Dutse
16. Federal Polytechnic Kazaure, Jigawa
17. NorthWest University Kano
18. Kano University of Science and Tech, Wudil, Kano
19. Federal University Kebbi https://t.co/ZbpxaNjfsu
Ogunlesi, unimpressed by Chidoka’s attempt further said;
All these Universities that you’re listing as INFRASTRUCTURE projects, hmmm. It’s not like you built brand new structures top to bottom o. In a good number of cases these Unis started on temporary campuses, & not all have moved to permanent sites.