May 8, 2024

Senate probes stalled $18.5bn Abuja Centenary City Project


By Henry Umoru

THE Senate has begun a probe into the factors that have stalled the completion of the $18.5 billion Centenary City Project, Abuja.

It also urged the Federal Government to prioritise completion of the project.

Consequently, the Senate president, Senator Godswill Akpabio, set up an ad hoc committee, with the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, as chairman.

The committee is to take a thorough look at the original public-private partnership agreement on the project, and resolve all other issues that have stalled the project for 10 years.

The Senate specifically asked the committee to review the original public-private partnership agreement and recommend amendments, if necessary, to facilitate smooth and expeditious completion of the project within a defined timeframe.

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The Upper Chamber urged the government to prioritize the revival of the Abuja Centenary City project by providing appropriate support, resolve regulatory issues, and address any other impediments, given its beneficial potential to the economy and people of Nigeria after 10 years of stalled progress.

Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Ashiru Oyelola Yisa, APC, Kwara South.

Recall that the Abuja Centenary Economic City project began in 2014, designed in form of a Public -Private Partnership, PPP, to build a modern city in the heart of Abuja capital city to mark 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation.

But 10 years after, the project valued back then at $18.5 billion remains uncompleted, prompting a motion by Senator Ashiru Oyelola calling Senate attention to the urgent need to have it revived.

According to Oyelola Yisa, the project is to serve as an economic hub in a free zone area, create thousands of jobs and provide accommodation for over 200,000 residents.

He also expressed disappointment that the city was yet to be completed and unable to achieve its economic potential.

The lawmaker, who called on the Senate to review the original PPP agreement and come up with amendments for the smooth completion of the project within a defined timeframe, said:  “The Senate notes that the Abuja Centenary Economic City project commenced in 2014 through a public-private partnership to develop a modern city in the mould of Dubai to commemorate 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation celebration.“