I Don’t Have Money to Complete Minna Airport City Project, Says Gov Sani Bello

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From Tunde Suleman, Minna

‎Citing the imperative of attending to more pressing needs in his domain, Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has said that he would not be able to earmark money towards the completion of some projects left behind by his predecessor.

According to the governor, his most pressing need now is to provide water and light for the people, ensure there are adequate infrastructure in schools and ‎provide facilities for hospitals in the state.

Governor Bello made this known while inspecting the ‎Minna Airport City project initiated by his predecessor when he was told that about N12 billion would be needed to finish the project.

His words: “I do not have money to pay for this project. I have more serious and pressing problems now. I have students sitting on the floor, people without drinking water, hospital without facilities, those are my priorities now or do you have money? If you have money, do it with your money and we will find a way to pay you later.

“I suggest the project be restructured. If we want to complete it, there is no money, if we do not complete it, it will waste away. Get someone who has money to invest in it to complete it.”

Bello lamented that even if ‎the government raised bonds for the project, it cannot bring in N2 billion every year insisting that the contractors need to restructure the project.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Arch. Adamu Jagaba, explained that about N12 billion would be needed to complete the Minna Airport City project, disclosing that N800 million has already been expended on the project.

According to him, N600 million was expended on the 17-floor City Tower while the contractors are currently working on the fourth floor. The sum N200 million has also been expended on the shopping mall.
Jagaba added that the project was being funded by the government who had to take over when the private investors failed to meet up the stipulated time.

The governor also inspected the Legislative and Commissioners Quarters in the proposed Three Arms zone‎ in the state, expressing satisfaction over the level of work done.

He said: “From what I have seen, I am impressed on the level of work done here. The challenge is to look for funds to finish it up but we will look into it to ensure that the remaining houses in the legislative quarters are completed.”

Bello called on the Ministry of Works to ensure that there is water and light in place before the houses are completed.
Meanwhile, the governor was unable to inspect the Minna Neo-Natal Hospital because the contractors have locked up the building, alleging that government is owning them N167 million.
It was gathered that the contractors are with the keys to the gate of the hospital and are currently in Abuja. They have vowed not to return the keys until they are duly paid.

Following this development, the governor wondered why the project was commissioned by former Governor Babangida Aliyu, when it was yet to be completed.

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