With N7 billion already spent, the vice president’s official home now seems abandoned, and subdued by weeds. The above photo is one of former President Jonathan’s administration’s star projects. It was meant to be a worthy edifice housing the Vice President, but with N7 billion already spent, the VP’s official home now seems abandoned and subdued by weeds.
According to report, following the refusal of the 7th Senate to accept the inflation of the contract sum by N9 billion, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) abandoned the project.
It was learnt that despite the release of the N7billion, the builders have not been fully paid, and the project is yet to reach 80% completion, contrary to the facts presented to the Senate by the FCDA.
The contract was reportedly awarded in 2009 at N7 billion. But in 2012, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Bala Mohammed, came with a request for N9 billion more to complete the project.
The Executive Secretary of FCDA, Adamu Ismail later told the Senate Committee on FCT that the proposed additional N9 billion was slashed to about N6 billion by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP). He said the variation was also meant to provide furniture, fencing, two additional protocol guest houses, a banquet hall and security gadgets.
The then Senate Committee on FCT, led by Senator Smart Adeyemi, however, rejected the request for the variation, which was more than 100%. He said either N13 billion or N14 billion or N16 billion for the project was “indefensible”.
The abandoned residence which was expected to accommodate a helipad, has been overtaken by weeds as reptiles are moving freely at the site. Although the weather-beaten red gate was under lock at the weekend, it was learnt that no fresh work had been done on the site since 2013.
A close source revealed to the The Nation and said: “The construction of the VP’s residence has been abandoned by the FCDA since the Senate turned down the demand for variation.
Despite the Senate Committee’s position, the former FCT Minister presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) but ex-President Jonathan said the nation cannot afford 120 per cent variation.
The former FEC resolved to complete the project within available budget. This is why the project is stalled. Definitely, we have a case of abandoned contract at hand. The same abandonment is applicable to the new residences of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
A presidency source, said: “The uncompleted residence of the Vice President was not included in the handover note on the pending issues at the Presidential Villa. I think it might be part of the report of the FCDA. But it is sad that we have to cope with an abandoned project even at the seat of power.”