Business Commentary Headline News Special Report

Need to complete Abuja World Trade Center for economic growth

The development of the World Trade Centre, Abuja started in 2010, on a land size of over 6,000 hectares in the Central Business District of Abuja. 

The project was initially on a much lesser scale.

At the beginning of the project, two unsuccessful attempts were made at securing development partners before First Continental Properties Limited was secured in 2009 through a bid process which eventually led to a development-lease agreement with Abuja Investments Company Limited.

Along the line, the scope of the project was later expanded to a mega-complex.

President Goodluck Jonathan broke ground for the project in September 2011, with an estimated completion and opening date which was initially scheduled for 2013.

However, the date was not visible due to several challenges in design, development and construction process. The project has also undergone several re-designs in order to meet the changing market demands.

Financial institutions, as well as private investors, are funding the complex, costing about 256 billion naira.

It was a priority project then with about 60 percent completion which was later abandoned.

A section of the completed structure experienced a fire outbreak on the 13th July last year which was immediately put out by men of the fire service.

The 37 floors project though slated for completion in phases is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

With the presentation of over N16.39 trillion 2022 budgets by the President to the National Assembly, it is time to revisit the project to enhance internally generated revenue of the economy.

The edifice is sharing boundary with the Metro rail, which if functional, will reduce the number of cars on the roads, reduce smoke emissions from cars and other wastages.

The location is central and accessible to all parts of Abuja which is capable of providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

It will reduce rental values within the city center and generate more revenues through value-added tax.

The world-class hotel will reduce the housing deficit and other residential issues associated with accommodation in the nation’s capital.

It is imperative for the FCT administration to complete the road networks along that corridor as well as the recreational parks to boost the economic values of the area.

marching order

The president should give a marching order to the ministers of FCT, finance and the Central Bank Governor to meet with the private investors for timely intervention for the completion of the project before 2023.

The Federal Ministry of Trade and investments alongside the Ministry of transportation should set up an inter-ministerial committee to come up with strategies on how best, the value chain of the edifice and the railway line can be optimised.

The committee should also look at the possibility of inaugurating the project, while the Federal government should collaborate with the investors and make the project a Public-Private Partnership.

It took the United States the sum of 3.8 billion dollars to rebuild the World center because of its value and significance to their economy.

Nigeria has the capacity to put the edifice in order. The Central Bank of Nigeria should intervene in the project as the Trade center is capable of generating and employing many Nigerians.

The nation cannot be losing money and employment opportunities on a daily basis when the Abuja, World Trade center is lying idle.

Written by Mike Yawe, Director, Radio Nigeria Investments Limited