From 1999 to date, Abuja the nation’s capital, has witnessed the foundation lying ceremony of many giant structures worth billions of naira. While some of the structures have been abandoned at advanced stages, others are still very much at the early stages of construction.
With the current economic reality; high cost of building materials and the devaluation of the naira, many of the buildings may not see the light of day. Daily Trust chronicles five of such mega projects begging for attention:
N18bn National Library
Situated on Plot 35 in the Central Business District, Abuja, the National Library of Nigeria headquarters building has become a dream deferred.
The contract for the building was awarded in 2006 to Messes Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) at the cost of N8.590bn, but construction was stalled because of government’s inability to fund the contract, and in 2008, the contractor demanded an upward review of the amount.
The Ministry of Education later reviewed the design of the property, leading to the upward review of the project to N18bn in 2009 following approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), with a completion period of 21 months effective from July, 2010.
Among the abandoned multi-million naira structures in the FCT, the worst is the NIPOST Corporate Headquarters opposite the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja. The contractor, Eldorado Nigeria Limited, abandoned construction early into the project. What is visible there now is an old signpost bearing information about the project’s owner, contractor and other basic information.
N39bn FIRS headquarters
ATO Architects won the competition for the design of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) headquarters building in 2011 on a 14,113.97sqm land with a building footprint of 5645.58sqm. BNL Engineering and Construction Limited (Bouygues) is the main contractor. Construction began in 2015. ATO Architects which designed the tower put the cost at N39.2bn as at August, 2014, to comprise three towers joined at the centre, according to Estate Intel Limited.
However, many watchers fear the building may suffer the same fate as other similar mega structures, because according to them, the contractor may not meet the 2021 completion deadline.
N69bn Millennium Tower
The extensive project was initiated in 2005 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. It was designed to be the tallest tower in Abuja at 170 metres (560ft) at the cost of N69.3bn.
For many years, government did not make budgetary provision for the complex, thereby forcing Salini Nigeria Limited, the Italian firm handling the construction, to suspend work after over N35.7bn had gone into it.
Sources say an additional $500m (N38.2bn) is needed to complete it.
It was designed at the same time with the National Library, the National Square, the International Auditorium and the Nigerian Cultural Centre within the same vicinity.
N7bn Ministry of Agric headquarters
The FEC approved then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh’s, request for the purchase of a “10-storey property on Plot 1062, Herbert Macaulay Way, Central Business District, Abuja, to serve as the corporate headquarters of the ministry from Messrs Efab Properties Limited at the cost of N7.075bn; inclusive of 5% VAT,” because for over 20 years the ministry operates from a single three-floor complex within the premises of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and spends over N400m annually in rents for some of its departments.
However, since buying the building on Herbert Macaulay Way two years ago, the building has been abandoned. In fact, the building is going bad with the roof already going off.