Senate begins probe of stalled $18.5b Abuja Centenary City project

The Senate yesterday set up a seven-member ad hoc committee to investigate what caused the stalling of the $18.5 billion Abuja Centenary Economic City project, 10 years after its commencement.
The Red Chamber directed the committee to review the original public private partnership (PPP) agreement and recommend amendments, if necessary, to facilitate a smooth and expeditious completion of the project within a defined timeframe.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to prioritise the revival of the project by providing appropriate support, resolving regulatory issues and addressing any other impediments, given its beneficial potential to boosting the economy and elevating the nation.

The Senate’s resolutions followed its consideration of a motion, titled: “Urgent need to revive and complete the stalled Centenary City Project, to realise its economic and development potential,” during plenary.


The motion was sponsored by Deputy Senate Leader Ashiru Yisa (APC, Kwara South).


In his lead debate, Yisa urged his colleagues to note that the Abuja Centenary Economic City project started in 2014 through a PPP arrangement that was meant to make it a modern city in the mould of Dubai to commemorate 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation.

The senator said the original vision for the project was to make it a potential economic hub with plans to create over 150,000 construction jobs and 250,000 permanent well-paying jobs, residential accommodation for over 200,000 residents, and facilities to attract over 500,000 daily visitors, among others.

He said the proposed city was designated as a free trade zone under the regulatory oversight of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority without prejudice to other statutory agencies, like the Federal Capital Territory Administration, the Abuja Investment Company (AIC) and the Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre (AIIC).

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