The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disclosed that the new Abuja city gate to be located at the Kuje Junction, Along Umaru Musa Yar'Adua Expressway (airport road) is to be constructed at the cost of N64 billion.
The new city gate, according to the administration, comprises conference and parade grounds, botanical gardens and a five star hotel. Others are shopping arcades, amphitheatres, cable car stations that will go from south to north and a monorail system.
Director, department of public buildings, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Arch Bernard Lot, who disclosed this while addressing a press conference, said the project would be floated through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model and the administration was currently looking for investors.
"Some investors have shown interest and we have discussed with them. We have prepared Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) documentation for it at the cost of N64 billion," Lot said.
Explaining the concept of the new city gate, he said, "The city gate project is a futuristic project. We have a new one at Kuje junction; just before the flyover at Kuje junction if you are moving from the city to the airport. Under the contract of the Airport expressway, very soon they will do an underpass because the gate is designed into a northern flank, a southern flank and a central axis. The central axis is a pedestrian bridge with a pile-on and on the northern side we have the formal side where we have the conference and parade ground, botanical gardens and other facilities including a five star hotel. That will form the symbol of how a visiting head of state could be given the key to enter the city.
"On the southern side, we have commercial facilities such as shopping arcades, amphitheatre, cable car station that will go from south to north and even with a monorail. City gates in modern architecture are places where people can come and converge, live and seek information about the city and go back without entering the city. One doesn't have to enter Abuja without knowing about Abuja. Right from the city gate, you can know about the city and go back. The city gate is going to be complemented by the centenary city which is adjacent to it."
On the millennium tower project which was awarded at N69 billion, he said the administration had spent about N34 billion and the cost of outstanding work was about N34 billion, but "We felt that with government's dwindling resources, we have to look for a way forward on how to actualise that project. The project in itself comprises a national square. It is a paved plot with underground parking on two levels under and that would be completed within the next one month. We need to make some corresponding engineering road network around that place to get access to it.
"So, we are discussing with the director of engineering to make sure that roads B8 and B10 between NS8 and NS9 are completed in such a way that we can have a free flow of traffic to access the underground car parks and utilise the national square. Apart from the national square, we have the millennium tower and revolving restaurant at the height of 110 metres. It will resolve slowly and is for a capacity of 120 people. We intend to complete that project and by the end of this year, you will see it under construction. By the end of the contract period which is October 2014, you will see the restaurant functioning. It is an economically viable project that we can easily sell for a PPP model and we will see it actualised within our own time."