Abuja – The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, on Tuesday in Abuja said the Federal Governement planned to build a Centenary City.
Anyim announced this when he led a government team to brief the Senate on the proposals for preparation ahead of the Centenary Celebration of Nigeria’s foundation as a nation.
He said the theme of the event would be “One Nigeria, Great Vision” .
He said it was aimed at projecting a unified, vibrant, progressive and respected nation, eager to lead in world affairs.
Anyim said the project would be modeled after cities such as Dubai, Monaco and Singapore, to serve as a political and economic tool for securing foreign investment.
“One of the enduring legacies of the celebration shall be the development of a centenary city in Abuja.
“The city is conceived to focus the attention of the investing world in Nigeria. The city will reintroduce Abuja to the world,’’ he said.
He said the project was slated to hold in Abuja, state capitals, some historic towns and cities in Nigeria.
According to him, the project will feature commemorative events, historical and heritage programmes.
It will be financed by private sector investors.
“Every aspect of the celebration will be private sector-driven. We are not intending to bring government fund into the events.
“We will hold investors forum where investors are expected to decide the commemorative projects such as the New Abuja City Gate, Ceremonial Arcade (Unity Square) and Presidential Retreat,’’ Anyim said.
The SGF said the briefing was to present the proposal to the Senate, to make its input before preparations for the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that on Jan. 16, President Goodluck Jonathan, in a letter, requested for a suitable date to brief the Senate on the celebration.
Senate President, David Mark, expressed the hope that the project would be successfully completed without government having to fund any aspect of it.
He said considering that government was not financially committed to the celebration, there was no need for further discussion by the Senators.
“Truly then we have no reason for this briefing. It is entirely a private sector driven exercise or business.
“If the idea is just to keep us abreast of what government is doing, then there is no need for question and answer or further discussion.
“But my worry is let it not appear that somewhere along the line we have been committed and then there is financial involvement.
“If there are suggestions that we want to make then we can get a committee and they can make suggestions and give to the businessmen, if they are interested, they buy, ” Mark stated.
The Dep. Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, however, said it was necessary for the government to disclose the cost of the project for records and comparative purposes.
“Whoever is funding it, its is important that the government provides what they consider to be the total cost of this project, both for comparative analysis and also for historical records.”
Ekweremadu gave the assurance that the National Assembly would study the document and make its contributions for the success of the project.(NAN)