President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday threw his full weight behind the proposed Centenary City Project, even as he commended promoters for paying full compensation to displaced original inhabitants of the area.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while receiving members of the Board of Directors led by former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said he was pleased with assurances from Centenary City PLC that all the original inhabitants of the site have been fully compensated.
President Buhari praised the Centenary City’s main development partners from the United Arab Emirates for having enough confidence in Nigeria to agree to invest about $18.5B in the project.
President Buhari also welcomed the assertion by Gen. Abubakar and his team that the project will create about 250,000 more direct jobs in the Federal Capital Territory and about half a million indirect jobs.
The President noted that skills, expertise and vast experience that will be brought into country to build the Centenary City on the Dubai model, will also be of immense benefit to Nigeria’s overall development. He said that he looked forward to regular updates on the Centenary City’s development.
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo who was also present at the briefing, said that the issue of the rights of the original inhabitants of the site acquired for the Centenary City had been of concern to the present Administration. “We are glad that it is being handled,” he said while welcoming the assurance that compensation had been paid to those who will be displaced by the project and that the issue of their relocation was being addressed.
Gen. Abubakar and the management of the Centenary City also told President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo that the project will be totally private sector driven. The city is designed as a contemporary efficient “mixed– use” city with emphasis on modernity, with the aim of synchronizing the demands of today’s society and the expectations of tomorrow and materialize the vision into a working scheme that allow the city to develop in a sustainable, ecofriendly and socially responsible manner.
The city is expected to create an “economic city” that will not only create jobs and economic activities but also secure the attention of the investing world to Nigeria as never before. Patterned after modern cities such as Dubai in UAE, Songdo in South Korea, Canary Wharf Development in U.K., King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi Arabia, and Eko Atlantic City, Lagos, Nigeria.
Eagle Hills International Properties LLC, a UAE government- supported real estate investment company chaired by Sheikh Mohammed Alabbar, is expected to build the city that will involve Presidential Achieves, outstanding infrastructure, 5-Star hotels, office and residential facilities, shopping malls, hospitals, recreational and tourist facilities Located along the Wawa District, along Airport Road, Abuja! the land was allocated by the Federal Capital Territory Authority FCTA under the Land Swap Scheme, with a development agreement that ensures that the project will comply with the Abuja Master Plan.
-Tony Ailemen Abuja