Vice President Lodge Project Stalled After Gulping Billions Of Naira


The construction of the vice president’s lodge in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has been ongoing for over 10 years. And there has not been any sign of fresh work on the site since 2013, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.

Our reporter also gathered that not less than N6billion has already been spent on the edifice, which the incumbent Vice President Yemi Osinbajo once described as a “misapplication of fund.”

Concerned observers said the government should complete the project and convert it to chalets for hosting visiting presidents and other very important personalities to save the cost.

Our reporter who visited the site observed that work had reached an advanced stage before it was stopped.

It was observed that the abandoned residential building and other structures with air-conditioning systems have grown weeds, while reptiles move freely within the large expanse of land still being protected by few security personnel in a fortified area of the Three Arms Zone in the capital city.

Julius Berger Nigeria Plc is the construction company handling the project, located in a very serene environment.

Vice President Osinbajo had in 2016 said the project would not be abandoned despite being a waste of resources.

Osinbajo, who said the N6bn already spent on the project was a misapplication of fund, added that with the level of construction already done, it would be completed and considered for other use.

“There is no need for a new residence for the vice president as the current one, called Aguda House, is up to standard, with enough space and well managed.

“A new house for the vice president is a kind of waste. But we are now in a situation where we cannot abandon it, so it has to be completed and used for a different thing,” the vice president was quoted to have said in February 2016 while responding to questions at the Pastors and Leaders Retreat of the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos.

The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) reportedly abandoned the project after the refusal of the 7th Senate to accept the increase of the contract sum by N9bn.

A former minister of the FCT, who is currently the governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, was said to have brought a request for an additional N9bn to complete the project in 2012, while the edifice was awarded in 2009 at N7bn.

The request was greeted with condemnation when the variation was expected to accommodate a helipad.

The then executive secretary of the FCDA, Adamu Ismail, was quoted to have told the Senate Committee on FCT that the proposed additional N9bn was slashed to N6bn by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).

Ismail had said the variation was meant to provide furniture, fencing, two additional protocol guest houses, a banquet hall and security gadgets.

However, the then Senate Committee on FCT, led by Senator Smart Adeyemi, turned down the request for the variation, which was more than 100 per cent.

Adeyemi said either N13bn, N14bn or N16bn for the project was “indefensible.”

The Federal Capital Development Authority was created by Decree 6 of 1976, with responsibilities of planning, development and administration of the Federal Capital City and the Federal Capital Territory as a whole.

We’ll complete it – FCDA

When contacted for reaction, the head of the Department of Public Relations and Information, FCDA, Richard Nduul, said they were desirous of completing the edifice. He, however, said the project was currently undergoing a review.

He also said, “On the suggestion that it could be used for another purpose, the decision will be that of the presidency at the appropriate time, while the FCDA implements accordingly.”

CSOs offer advice

Tunde Salman, the convener, Good Governance Team (GGT) Nigeria, advised that the building be completed and set aside as guest house for visiting heads of state instead of spending money in five-star hotels in Abuja.

He, however, called on the government to give priority attention to low-cost housing estates for the masses instead of caring for the politically exposed persons alone.

Salman said, “My advice is that government should give priority to housing estates for the masses instead of caring for the political elite. They should support mass housing.

“However, if they want to go ahead, it can be completed and set aside as a guest house.”

The chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), Suraj Olanrewaju, demanded an investigation into the project.

He said, “It is important to demand the investigation of the allocation and execution of resources for the purposes of building the vice presidential quarters. Certainly, there was no pressing or fundamental need for such construction and waste of public resources, considering that the vice president currently occupies a befitting accommodation within the Presidential Villa. Politicians and civil servants are into projects for the kickbacks and other benefits than public interest.

“The FCDA and FCT ministers should be queried and investigated by the National Assembly, and where abuse of office or diversion of funds is suspected or established, anti-corruption agencies should be invited for detailed investigation and prosecution.”

Daily Trust 


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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