Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Bola Tinubu of promoting propaganda and putting his personal interest above that of Nigeria.

Atiku, in a statement on Sunday through his media aide, Paul Ibe, said that instead of implementing policies and strategies to promote investment, Tinubu is busy prioritising personal and family interests above national interests.

Speaking against the background of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, Atiku said the presence of Seyi, son of President Tinubu, on the board of the company owned by those handling the project is a conflict of interest.

He added that the destruction of Landmark Beach without any compensation for the owners is a red flag for investors who may be considering investing in Nigeria.

The former Vice President, therefore, advised Tinubu and his economic team to do less propaganda and focus on improving the ease of doing business in the country as this remained the surest path to sustainability.

The former presidential candidate stated that, “To add insult to injury, this project that is being done in excess of $13bn was awarded without a competitive bidding. From all indications, the so-called Badagry-Sokoto highway would be awarded in a similar fashion at an enormous cost to taxpayers purely because Tinubu has put his personal interest ahead of the Nigerian people.

“Tinubu has been globetrotting in search of foreign direct investments. He claims to have secured over $30 billion from various companies, but none has been forthcoming. Rather, all manufacturing firms have been posting heavy losses while some are exiting due to his poorly implemented exchange rate unification policy with even Aliko Dangote describing it as a huge mess at the recent annual general meeting of Dangote Sugar Refinery.

“The IMF in its latest report stated that Nigeria will by the end of the year become the 4th largest economy in Africa behind South Africa, Egypt and Algeria, a disgraceful development for a nation which was the largest in Africa by a mile when the PDP left the stage in 2015.

“Investors are seeing how local businesses are being treated and will not come to a place where their investments will not be protected. In saner climes, businesses such as Landmark would have been given at least two years’ notice in order for effective planning. But Tinubu’s eagerness to satisfy his business partners impaired his ability to coordinate the project properly.

“The awarding of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway was rushed; the environmental impact assessment report was not even completed; the right of way for the 700 km stretch of the highway project was not secured; it was converted from a PPP to a government funded project within the twinkle of an eye. The N500m that was approved by the National Assembly for the project was ignored, while over N1tn was released by Tinubu’s administration without approval from the National Assembly.

“From falsely claiming to have removed subsidies to secretly paying billions monthly based on the revelation of Nasir el-Rufai, the Tinubu administration has shown a lack of coordination and transparency, failing to even explain to Nigerians why there is petrol scarcity across the country.”

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