It is in Nigeria
It was a 27.3 Kilometer perimeter fence
Awarded at the cost of N2.2 billion per Kilometer
The 27.3 Kilometer fence gulped total of N64 billion only
The costliest perimeter fence ever built in the whole world was not the China Wall, in spite of all the complications of that exercise. Maybe, we should say something about the China Wall at this introductory point as it might help us to appreciate what the cost of building walls anywhere around the globe.
The history of the Great China Wall began when fortifications built by various states during the Spring and Autumn [771-476 BC] and Warring State periods [475-221 BC] were connected by the first Emperor of China; Qin Shi Huang, and it was to protect his newly founded Qin Dynasty [221-206 BC] against incursions by Nomads from Inner Asia. That wall, which was built of rammed earth, and ran from Gansu to the coast of Southern Manchuria, cost USD$95 billion only. The cost was high but it was not the costliest in the whole world.
The Berlin Wall, which was built by the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War to prevent its population from escaping Soviet-controlled East Berlin to West Berlin, which was controlled by the major Western Allies, separated the two Germany States [East and West] from 1961 to 1989 it was a fortified fortress indeed, built on a massive stretch of land, and running across 96 miles, gulped only USD$25 million.
If President Donald Trump had been able to switch the November 2020 American Presidential election to himself dubiously, as he attempted, he would have been able to continue and finish the construction of another Great Wall, which was meant to separate America from Mexico. The total cost of that Wall, as fortified as it was designed to be; running roughly 2,000 miles long, cutting across four States, from California to Texas, would have just been USD$15 million. Yet, it couldn’t have been referred to as the costliest fence in the whole world.
All these were Great Walls, there is no doubt about that fact, but they are nothing to be compared to a Perimeter Fence Wall built in Nigeria, in the Lord’s blessed year of 2020, in terms of cost. Let us look at the fact of the Nigerian Perimeter Fence Wall, built around the University of Maiduguri – the capital of Borno State, in North-East Nigeria.
A Pro-Democracy and Human Rights group, Concerned Nigerians, have condemned the Federal government’s proposed plan to construct a 27.3 Kilometre perimeter fence round University of Maiduguri at an exorbitant cost of N64B.
The group in a press statement made available to journalists said the budgeted amount of money for a 27.3 Kilometer perimeter fence round the University of Maiduguri is over-bloated, exorbitant and overtly outrageous.
The convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju, in a statement on Saturday, said “We as an organization, understand the fact that there’s a rising and ongoing insecurity in North-Eastern Nigeria where the university is located and the need for the students and staff of the university to be protected, but the money budgeted for the construction of 27.3 Kilometer Perimeter Fence round the institution is outrageous.
“The country currently, is surviving on borrowing and we have seen instances where money meant for projects like this are misappropriated or diverted into private pockets. “The war against insurgency has lingered enough and we believe that the Buhari led administration is not doing enough to tame these monsters killing and maiming our fellow compatriots. “The war has turned into a franchise where elites who are beneficiaries of arms deal contracts would do everything to keep their arms and aid business afloat”.
“We sought the counsel of an expert, a civil engineer who told us that he has actually constructed a Fence that was more than 2km, a Block Wall fence, at 3m height, with Reinforced Concrete Double columns at every 5m, and single columns at every 3m that did not cost more than N15 million per kilometer.
“Even the Abacha regime that Nigerians think was the most corrupt is nothing compared to the monumental fraud that is being witnessed under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Recall that the Federal Government had begun the construction of the 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for the University of Maiduguri to check incessant attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.
The project, which is valued at N64bn according to the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities in UNIMAID, Dani Mamman, is to stop the terrorists who have been penetrating the North-East part of the institution’s campus.
Dr Dani Mamman also stated that only the western and southern parts of UNIMAID campus were initially fenced. He said, “The UNIMAID perimeter fence is still being constructed. The Federal Government approved N64 bn for the construction of 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for UNIMAID. That place is very porous.
What are we thinking about this fact that has, once again, put Nigeria ahead of other countries – albeit negatively?
Nigeria we hail thee!
[Source of information: Vanguard Newspaper of AUGUST 1, 2020 and Daily Post of August 1, 2020]
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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