AN elated Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Aliyu Modibbo, yesterday flagged off construction work on a three-unit, 10-storey tower project in Abuja, which he described as a milestone in the country's public-private sector partnership for growth.
The project is referred to as "The Wonder of Abuja Towers," and is billed for completion within 18 months.
Modibbo, who performed the foundation-laying ceremony for the construction of the facility, assured that when completed, the towers would "really be something wonderful to behold."
The towers are being constructed by SCC Nigeria Limited.
The minister described the project as "a masterstroke of architectural excellence, a delightful addition to dot the already brimming Abuja skyline; a brilliant touch of effective space utilisation."
He said the structure was a dream come true for the FCT administration and in line with the objectives of the government in ensuring that private-sector operators within the FCT re-invest their money in developing the area.
Modibbo commended the management of the company "for taking the initiative to re-invest in the federal capital territory by initiating this masterpiece."
The minister added: "The Towers are indeed testimony to the potentials of FCT to be a modern city, competing with others around the world. Abuja is no longer a purely Nigerian or African city, it is now an international city. Structures like the SCC Towers we are commencing today, are testimonies that Abuja is a world-class city."
Declaring that his administration was investing heavily in making the territory suitable for private-sector investment, Modibbo disclosed that safety of lives and property was being tackled as priority.
He called on other developers to come up with their own plans, assuring that the government would grant them special approvals.
Recalling that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had concluded plans to construct a boulevard stretching from the Central Business Area to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport next year, Modibbo, who was accompanied by the FCT Minister of State, James Akpanudoedehe, also called on the SCC to invest in the boulevard.
Chairman, Board of Directors, SCC Nigeria Limited, Emmanuel Adiele, stressed that the project marked the start of another line of investment by the company in the development of the territory.
He explained that the towers, "which are in line with the seven-point agenda of the present administration of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, will create wealth by the judicious land use for large-scale private investment to ensure improvement and boost wealth creation initiatives."
Adiele continued: "SCC Nigeria Limited, in line with its commitment to supporting the Federal Government and the Federal Capital Territory in the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has made immense financial and infrastructure investments deliberately aimed at improving the socio-economic wellbeing of the Nigerian citizenry."
He disclosed that the SCC Towers, which comprise three units of 10-storey buildings of mixed land use of residential and commercial purposes, were being constructed under the Accelerated Development Programme, an initiative of the Public-Private Partnership unit of the FCT.
Adiele said: "When ready, the towers will provide tastefully finished luxury residential apartments, flats and suites, exquisitely designed corporate office suites and spaces, unique departmental outlets and stores, state-of-the-art conferencing facilities and recreational facilities like swimming pool, gymnasium and restaurants."