By Philip Yatai
Minister of the FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the FCT Administration had secured funding from SUKUK to complete the Abuja Millennium Tower and Cultural Centre.
Wike 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.
He 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. (NAN)
Edited by Alli Hakeem