Senators were shocked to discover yesterday that the contract for the National Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower project was awarded at N69.3billion.
The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) discovered this during an oversight visit to the site of the project at the Central District Area, Abuja.
FCDA executive secretary, Engr Adamu Ismail, told the committee that the project was awarded to Messr Salini Nigeria Ltd on November 17, 2005; while work commenced on January 12, 2007.
Ismail, who noted that the project was expected to be completed by October 14, 2014, said it occupies four hectares of land.
He added that N2 billion was proposed for the project in the national budget for the 2013 fiscal year.
The document submitted to the committee put the initial cost of the project at N62.1 billion; augmented cost, N69.3 billion; variation, N16.2 billion and advance mobilisation, N13.28 billion.
The committee was angry when told that 302 Nigerians were working as labourers and 33 foreigners as principal engineers.
The executive secretary had said of the 304 Nigerians working on the project, there is one quantity surveyor and one engineer.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said: "You cannot have all the principal engineers as foreigners."