BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the effective take-off of construction work on the multi-billion dollars Abuja Centenary city project would soon commence in earnest as all legal and political encumbrances that were a hindrance to the effective take-off of the project have been amicably resolved by the various stakeholders.
Managing Director of the Centenary City PLC, Dr. Odenigwe Ike Michaels Jr, who announced this while briefing the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel JIme, who visited the project site, also said that N1.23billion has been paid as compensation to the original owners of the land and others that earlier aquire properties within the Centenary area.
Michaels explained that the payment has put the issues of agitation by the inhabitants of the area to rest, adding that the physical presence of the paramount ruler of Jiwa in the Abuja Municipal Area Council and that of Kuje in the Kuje Area Council of the FCT attest to the amicable resolution of the dicey issue of compensation,
In his words; “The mega city is for everyone that include the rich and the poor. I can confidently say that when completed, it will be where different classes of people would crave to visit and be because of its top notch facilities and infrastructures.
“It would be a situation in which instead of rich Nigerians seeking to go abroad for medical treatments and tourism, a world class hospitals that would be built in the Centenary city would effectively take care of such medical needs. It would save the country a lot of needed foreign exchange and reduce capital flight.
Speaking in turn, the Managing Director of NEPZA, Hon Emmanuel Jime confirmed that all hurdles that were a clog in the smooth take 0ff of the project conceived as one of the best in the world have been resolved.
Jime, who confirmed this during the presentation of the Master Plan of the Centenary City, said that having worked with relevant stakeholders and government agencies to resolve all matters, adding that a final report on the planned city has been sent to the president for approval.
He further said; “I can assure all Nigerians that when completed, the mega city will be one of the best free zone that would be providing different types of jobs for Nigerians and world class infrastructures. The project will attract huge Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and halt capital flights.
In his own remarks, one of the Nigerian investors, Mallam Alhassan Dantata assured that he would be mobilizing to site in few weeks from now to commence work on the ‘Buhari Towers’ which Is going to be one of the few gigantic but affordable sky scrappers’ building for government officials and others.
In his presentation before invited guests and journalists. The Executive Director of the Centenary City, Mr. Jaimal Shergill said the city would have a museum, world class hotels, Golf Course, Community amenities Industry centers, Central Business District, Cultural Center, Business and Technology Parks, Residential Districts, Financial Center and Sports and leisure facilities.
Shergill also said that the the City is to lay more emphasis on non-oil sector through the Public Private Partnership, adding that the zone is and will always be the best free zone in the country and would be employing over two hundred thousand people.
The two tradition rulers of Jiwa and Kuje confirmed in their separate remarks that compensations for economic tress and farmlands have been paid.