Akin Akande, Abuja
Preparations for next year’s centenary celebrations have started gathering momentum as the group in charge of the celebration on Monday disclosed that the centenary city project, which is part of the country’s 100-year post amalgamation anniversary would cost N3.2 billion.
The ambitious project is also expected to generate 55,000 jobs for the benefit of Nigerians.
Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar disclosed this when he led the Board of “Centenary City Plc.” to pay a courtesy call on President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House.
General Abubakar also requested the President’s approval of the following incentives: Free Trade Zone; Duty Free Regime; Tax Holidays and Pioneer Status among other things, to facilitate recovery of the investment in the city.
In his response, President Jonathan assured that government has the political will and determination to make the Centenary City Project a reality.
Earlier in his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, disclosed that 22 prospective investors among them, Mohammed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of EMAAR Group, under the name Centenary City Plc., had come together to ensure the city becomes a reality in record time.
He said, EMAAR Properties is the largest construction and development company in the UAE and is responsible for the development of Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest artificial structure in the world.
Other members of the Board are, Prof. Ben U. C. Aghazu representing IBETO Group; Mr. Robert Azibaola representing One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited; Dr. Pam Obaze representing Kandeed Construction and Engineering Limited; Mr. Olatunde Ayeni representing Olutoye Estate Development Limited; and Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, representing Atlantic Golf International
Others are Mr. Ugochukwu Nkwocha representing Mulak Ventures Limited; Mr. Marks George representing Julius Berger Investment Limited; Engr. Hani T. Saliba representing NAEL and Bin Harmal HyroExport (UAE); Dr. Musa A. Musa representing FCDA; Mr. Emmanuel Uchola representing Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; and Chief Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr representing Globacom.