August 29, 2023

We’ll deliver millennium tower project in two years – Wike

SERAP sues Sani, Wike, others ‘over failure to account for N5.9trn, $4.6bn loans, publish agreements’

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Nyesom Wike said on Monday that the ministry will deliver the Millennium Tower project in the next two years.

Wike stated this in Abuja after a closed-door meeting with contractors handling different projects in the FCT.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Millennium Tower at Central Area, Abuja, is a multifunctional edifice with facilities for cultural exposition, tourism, socialisation, recreation, hospitality, and commercial activities.

The project is being handled by Salini Construction Nigeria Limited but was abandoned due to lack of funds.

He said that the tower was a very important project that would change the landscape of Abuja city.

“It is a very very ambitious project, but again if we are talking of Abuja being one of the best cities in the world, then we must have such a facility.

“I can tell you it is not easy to go into that project, but we have decided that whatever it takes, it is going to be one of the legacy projects for President Bola Tinubu.

“In fact, we are looking at the next two years, if the way we are going to structure our payment is agreeable with the contractor,” Wike said.

NAN reports that the project, conceived in 2005 had reached 40 per cent completion, and is expected to, upon completion, self-finance itself from revenues generated from all the commercial activities in the complex.

The scope of the project comprises a cultural centre with four museums, and an expansive arcade consisting of 40,000m2 platform for hosting national and other events.

It also consists of a five-star hotel with 55 luxury rooms and nine suites for about 130 persons, offices, passive and active recreational facilities, 1200 capacity auditorium, conference rooms,

Others are exhibition halls, shops, a sports centre with an indoor pool, gyms, fitness, squash courts, and a two-level 1,200 capacity basement car park.

The millennium tower itself is a 170-meter-tall structure accommodating a revolving panoramic restaurant for more than 130 diners.

The minister added that a careful analysis of all the awarded contracts with the contractors and his team have revealed that most of the projects were abandoned for lack of funds.

“The Minister of State, myself, the permanent secretary, and directors have concluded that it is not possible to carry on with the entire projects in the FCT.

“Therefore, we agreed to take them in order of priority. We have tried to work out most of the projects being handled by Julius Berger and agreed to see that these projects are fully completed,” he said.

According to NAN, Wike added that the Villa Roundabout being handled by China Geo-engineering Corporation (CGC) Nigeria Limited, would be completed in the next six to eight months.

He equally said that the ministry would ensure the completion of the projects being handled by Cetraco Nigeria Ltd, and also put a facelift on Garki, Wuse and part of Maitama in the next one week.

He said that the contractors would be mobilised immediately, adding that Asokoro would equally have a facelift in no distant time.

On the Abuja light rail rehabilitation project, the minister said that an agreement has been concluded with CCECC Nigeria Limited to give them their money in the next two days so they can go to work.

“We are also discussing with the company on the operation cost, because it will not be good to rehabilitate and then you cannot operate.

“We have told them that on Thursday, we are going to meet to talk about the operation cost,” he said.

Wike pointed out that part of the problems of the projects was because they were not being funded by the national budget.

He said that in view of the funding challenge, the ministry would pick some projects that could be completed within a specific period and then decide on what to do again in the following year.