Public and Private Development Centre  Advocates For  Transparency and Accountability Over the Lagos – Calabar Coastal Highway Project

by | May 24, 2024 | Press Release

Home E Press Release E Public and Private Development Centre  Advocates For  Transparency and Accountability Over the Lagos – Calabar Coastal Highway Project

Abuja, Nigeria – March 2024 – The Public and Private Development Center (PPDC)  expresses concern over the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project. Following the third stakeholder meeting on May 23, 2024, the PPDC is highlighting significant issues related to the bidding and procurement process, the provision of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), and the adherence to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The project’s procurement process has come under scrutiny, particularly regarding compliance with the Procurement Act. According to the Honourable Minister of Works, Sen. Engr. Dr. Nweze David Umahi CON, the project was done under Restrictive bidding which is provided for under section 40 of the Public Procurement Act 2007. While this may be true, the aforementioned section also stipulates conditions under which restricted bidding may be employed. It mandates that such procedures be published in the procurement journal and that they be performed when the goods or services provided are available only from a limited number of suppliers. We would like to know why it was determined that this required a restrictive bidding process in the first instance, especially given the history and capacity of other reputable construction companies. 

Stakeholders were initially reassured by the Minister’s commitment to releasing the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report during the second stakeholder meeting. However, this promise was retracted at the third meeting, with the new timeline pushing back disclosure by 2-3 months after the environmental and social impact assessment is complete. This justification, citing Section 15b of the Freedom of Information Act, raises concerns.

This delay is particularly troubling because a thorough ESIA process would have identified critical concerns like the presence of submarine cables beforehand. Withholding the ESIA report hinders transparency and public participation in decision-making. The public has a right to know how the Coastal Highway Project will affect their communities and environment. Hiding critical information only fuels distrust and undermines the government’s credibility.

In light of these concerns, the Public and Private Development Centre calls on the government to:

  1. Immediately release the full details of the procurement process for the Coastal Highway Project. Despite the Honorable Minister’s statement published by Leadership newspaper on the 8th of May 2024 affirming compliance with the Procurement Act, transparency is required. Full disclosure will ensure accountability and public trust.
  2. While we await the final Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) as mentioned by the Honorable Minister and Director, we request an immediate disclosure of the available ESIA report and engage stakeholders in meaningful consultations.
  3. Continue to uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and public participation in all government projects and decision-making processes.

We urge the government to prioritize public interest and demonstrate a genuine commitment to transparency and accountability in the execution of the Coastal Highway Project.

About PPDC

The Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) is a non-governmental organization and social enterprise dedicated to fostering transparent and accountable governance while increasing citizens’ participation in governance processes. PPDC’s programs are designed to promote values and initiatives that drive institutional, behavioural, and systemic change in society. 

For more information,  visit


Jubril Shittu

Chief Executive Officer,

Public and Private Development Centre.