Home » Nigerian president awards highway project to billionaire linked to Sani Abacha

Nigerian president awards highway project to billionaire linked to Sani Abacha

by Omokolade Ajayi

The Nigerian government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has awarded the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway to Hitech Road Construction Company, a subsidiary of Hitech Construction Company. This construction conglomerate is owned by Nigerian-Lebanese billionaire Gilbert Chagoury.

The announcement came during a meeting held in Lagos, where Nigerian Minister of Works Dave Umahi revealed the ambitious plan. The Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project will be executed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and will include tolls upon completion, with Hitech Construction Company already securing the necessary funding.

One of the key objectives of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway is to stimulate tourism and economic growth. The project’s scope includes the development of industrial clusters, such as hotels, factories, housing estates, and various amenities along the route. The initiative aligns with Tinubu’s nationwide vision for increased connectivity and economic development.

The proposed route will be a vital link between major infrastructure projects, including the Lagos-Badagry Expressway superhighway, the Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lekki Deep Sea Port Road, and will connect various points in northern Nigeria via Ogoja-Ikom. The network promises to bolster trade and transportation links across Nigeria.

Hitech Construction Company, a division of the Chagoury Group founded by Gilbert Chagoury and his younger brother Ronald in 1988, stands as one of Nigeria’s leading civil engineering firms. Their expertise includes providing sustainable solutions to combat coastal erosion in the West African region.

Hitech has a track record of successfully executing projects that safeguard endangered shoreline sections by preventing the Atlantic Ocean’s encroachment.

Gilbert Chagoury’s journey to success began with the establishment of Chagoury Group at the age of 25, alongside his younger brother, Ronald Chagoury.

Their business acumen has since driven the growth and expansion of their conglomerate, solidifying their position in Nigeria’s economic landscape.

Chagoury’s success has not been without controversy. He faced scrutiny due to his association with the late Sani Abacha, a Nigerian military head of state, whose support contributed to the growth of Chagoury’s businesses in the country.

Following Abacha’s death in 1998, Chagoury returned an estimated $300 million to the Nigerian government to safeguard himself from potential criminal charges.

The gesture marked a pivotal moment in his business career, allowing him to continue contributing to Nigeria’s development.

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