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Wike Secures SUKUK Fund to Complete Abuja Millennium Tower, other Projects

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike has said the FCT Administration had secured funding from SUKUK to complete the Abuja Millennium Tower and Cultural Centre.

The minister made the declaration while inspecting various project sites in Abuja and assured that part of the fund would be used to complete other on-going projects.

Wike said SUKUK management had agreed to fund projects outside its coverage areas, mainly roads and bridges.

The Millennium Tower located in the Central Area of Abuja, is a multifunctional edifice with facilities for cultural exposition, tourism, socialisation, recreation, hospitality, and commercial activities.

The contractor on the project is Salini Construction Nigeria Ltd.

The project, conceived in 2005 had reached 40 per cent completion, but was abandoned because of paucity of funds.

Upon completion, it is expected to self-finance itself from revenues generated from commercial activities.

“As I speak with you, we have more than N70 billion to N100 billion that we shall access, and we are going to attach the fund to specific projects.

“We have also submitted a supplementary budget for 2023 and President Bola Tinubu has approved it and will transmit it to the National Assembly.

“We are asking that we should be allowed to spend N61 billion and we want to use that money for specific projects so that by May 29 these projects are completed,’’ he said.

The minister assured that no project would be abandoned under his watch and expressed joy that residents were witnessing the completion of abandoned projects.

Wike expressed optimism that when completed, the Millennium Tower would change the landscape of Abuja and boost its tourism potential.

He assured contractors handling FCT projects that they would be paid before the end of the month.

Wike equally assured residents of the territory that all on-going projects would be completed before May 29, 2024.

The Millennium Tower and Cultural Centre project is one of a number of projects in the Central District of Abuja.

At 170 metres (560 ft.), it is the tallest artificial structure in Abuja.

The tower was designed by Mr Manfredi Nicoletti an Italian architect who died on Oct. 29, 2017 in Rome.

The tower includes the Nigerian Cultural Centre, an eight-storey, low rise, pyramid-shaped edifice.

Construction of the tower started in 2006 and was suspended in 2014.

The site is severed by a main road so the two structures will be linked via an underground arcade.

The tower consists of three cylindrical concrete pillar-like structures of varying heights and linked together near its first peak using a disc-shaped section.

The disc-shaped section is intended to house an observation deck and a viewing restaurant on two floors.

Around the pillars of the tower, three transparent stainless steel wings wrap around the base and gradually open outwards in a fan-like fashion as they extend up the height of the tower.

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BIPC activates judicial processes to eject allottees from estates

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From Attah Ede Makurdi

The Benue Investment and Property Company Limited (BIPC), on Wednesday, obtained judicial administrative order to individuals who have defaulted on the terms of payment for the BIPC Evergreen Estates located at Nyiman and Northbank axis in Makurdi of Benue State.

The Managing Director of the company, Dr.

Raymond Asemakaha, explained that the affected persons were earlier given a sufficient grace period before the judicial process of ejection was activated.

Dr.Asemakaha in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen in Makurdi, the decision to eject the allottees followed the expiration of the period of grace conveyed to the allottees/occupants of BIPC Evergreen Housing Estates.

He said affected allottees are yet to pay the purchase price as stipulated in the Provisional Offer letters, adding that the management is pleased to inform the general public that the company has activated administrative and Judicial processes of ejecting such allottees/occupants.

“As a business entity with a mandate to maximize profits for the shareholder, Management is compelled to explore this line of action in order to minimize the losses associated with the continued occupation of the estates by such allottees/occupants.”

“The ejection exercise is not in any way aimed at victimizing the allottees /occupants as the company has exhausted the internal remedies provided in the provisional offer letter including but not limited to verbal and written persuasion to the allottees/occupants of the Estates to pay the purchase price annually or monthly but to no avail.”

“Members of the public are therefore enjoined not to be misled by the unsubstantiated reasons advanced by such allottees as noncompliance with the ejection exercise will attract punitive legal consequences” the statement concluded.

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Give Tinubu More Time to Solve Challenges – Gowon

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Former President Yakubu Gowon
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Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon has urged Nigerians to give more time to the  President Bola Tinubu-led administration, toward resolving the various challenges confronting the country.

He added that it was too early in the life of the administration to begin to resolve all the inherited crisis in different sectors.

Gowon said this after a meeting with Tinubu at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday in Abuja.

“Well, I was telling him that no Nigerian leader that get there and will not have all the report of what is being said about him.

“But certainly, there’s no doubt from what one hears and what one sees on the various media.

I think the government is trying its best to deal with the various problems of the country.

“Don’t you worry,  you will get criticised but people who get there know better than you know.

“I think all what one can say is that Nigerians, we’ve got to give the President time to get things really done. And it is too early to say absolute result, perfect result will be achieved now.”

Gowon said  the meeting with the President also centred on the issue of the challenges facing the ECOWAS subregions, adding that it must be settled amicably.

“Being the surviving leader, or founding fathers of the ECOWAS, I think we had to discuss some of his plans in order to see what can be done to bring the matter under control,” Gowon said.

He debunked claims on social media that he refused to attend an event organised by ECOWAS, adding that this was probably due to miscommunication.

“I think there was a miscommunication but then, it gave the opportunity for the  President to call me so that we can discuss what I was to do.”(NAN)

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Tinubu Appoints New Immigration CG

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of DCG Kemi Nandap,  as the new Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

A statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Wednesday in Abuja, disclosed that the appointment is with effect from March 1.

“The President anticipates that the new comptroller-general will deepen the ongoing reforms in the service and create a robust mechanism for efficient and dedicated service delivery to Nigerians.

“As well as strengthen the nation’s security through proactive and effective border security and migration management.

He said that Nandap would take over from Mrs Caroline Adepoju, whose term in office expires on Feb.

29.

Ngelale said that before her appointment, Nandap was the Deputy Comptroller – General (DCG)  in charge of the Migration Directorate of the service.(NAN)

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