…EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER SPATE OF ABANDONED PROJECTS, POOR FUNDING
1. Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has pledged that the FCT Administration will complete some ongoing projects in the territory over the coming months.
2. The Minister made the pledge in Abuja on Thursday, August 24, 2023 shortly after undertaking an inspection tour of ongoing projects in the nation’s capital to ascertain their levels of completion.
3. The projects visited include the proposed FCTA Headquarters Complex at the Ministry Zone, Central Area, the residence of presiding officers of the National Assembly in the Three Arms Zone, as well as the resident of the Vice President at Aso Drive, Abuja.
4. Others are the rehabilitation of the Federal Secretariat at the Central Business District, the Roads B6, B12 and Circle Road in the Abuja Central Area as well as the Abuja Cultural Centre and Millenium Tower also undergoing construction.
5. During the inspection visits, the FCT Minister, who expressed concern over the spate of abandoned and uncompleted projects in the FCT, emphasized the need to complete these projects to justify the huge funds invested in them.
6. Barrister Wike who also queried why work was abandoned at the residence of the presiding officers of the National Assembly, said the FCT Administration will dialogue with the leadership of the National Assembly to resolve whatever concern that they may have to avoid wastage of public funds.
7. He said, “We are going to dialogue with the leadership of the National Assembly. But the point is this, if you look at how much we have put in this structure and then you abandon it, what becomes of the structure at the end of the day? What will happen? They were the ones who initiated that this structure should be built here and the government accepted and have started construction to this level.
8. “This is not a private residence. These are public officers’ residence that if you are not there, another person will take over. We must understand that public funds cannot be wasted in this manner because if we abandon them, even if the FCTA takes over, to do what with it?
9. “So, it is very unfortunate that we find ourselves in this kind of dilemma. I will try and plead with the present leadership of the National Assembly so that we are able to save funds and apply those funds in other projects.”
10.Commenting on the spate of abandoned projects in the country the Minister said;“Part of our problems in this country is spate of uncompleted project. Even if you want to come back to start a project, the contractor will bring variation because the price of things as the time is no longer the price of things and this is why we are losing every day. I will also make this request to Mr. President to let him know the dilemma we are in, while the talks with the leadership of the National Assembly is ongoing”.
11.Speaking also at the Vice President’s residence in Aso Drive, which was awarded to Messrs. Julius Berger in 2010. Barr. Wike also expressed worry that such vital project had been abandoned for over 13 years, describing the situation as disheartening and embarrassing.
12. “I can’t believe that in a country like this, where the Vice President is supposed to reside, a contract awarded in 2010 and we are in 2023, nothing is going on. Funding is a problem. Why in the first place would we go into it if we know that we don’t have the funds for the project? It’s highly embarrassing. I don’t think any serious government would allow this to happen.”
13.On the Abuja cultural Centre and Millenium Tower, Barrister Wike said it was a very important facility that ought to turn Abuja into a world class city. He said he was aware of the funding challenges and assured that efforts will be made to solve the problems.
14.The Minister also revealed that before he was sworn into office, Mr. President told him to do everything he could to bring back some of the facilities that will make Abuja a world class city.
15.He said, “one of those is in terms of the road network and facilities like cultural centre that will bring tourists and families to move around and have fun with their loved ones.”
16.The Minister who admitted that funding is a difficult area, assured that the FCT Administration will do whatever it could to surmount the challenges, adding that he would confer with the Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary to restructure the way some of the projects are being funded.
17.Barr. Wike who also stated that his administration will not give excuses assured that he will do the best he can and take the ones he could not do back to the President.
18.He said, “We are sure of the kind of things we are going to do in the next six, seven months, projects that have been abandoned will now come back to life. Like I have told Julius Berger about the Federal Secretariat and they have promised that if the funding is there, they are going to finish it in seven eight months. These are very important infrastructure that will change the landscape of Abuja and they have told us that if the funding is there, under six months, they will finish it.”
19.He assured that efforts will be made to find funding to complete the project in that time frame.
20.Accompanying the Minister on the tour were the the Hon Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, the ES FCDA Engr Shehu Hadi Ahmed, Director Public Building, Arc Adebowale Ademo and other senior officials of the FCTA
(OFFICE OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARY)