Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe
By Muhammad Bello
The Federal Government has approved the sum of N1.496 billion for the building of a mausoleum in honour of the country’s first President, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
The mausoleum which will be located in Onitsha, Anambra State and is expected to be completed in 13 months.
The decision was reached Wednesday at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The minister of information represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, alongside the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple and the Minister of Mines and Steel, Mohammed Sada, said that the proposal for the mausoleum has been in the pipeline since 2006.
They concurred that the President promised to re-visit the matter during his visit to Anambra State.
According to Abati, “the President during his visit to Anambra State had given his word that the issue will be revisited and that was done today because the country owes it to posterity and the memory of the great Zik to ensure that the mausoleum is built and there is concrete assurance by the ministry of Lands and Housing that this time around, the Mausoleum will be completed.
Pepple explained the award of the contract saying the “contract was originally under the Presidency but it was stalled and had to be cancelled three times. But in 2010 it was transferred to the Ministry of Lands and Housing Development when it became a full-fledged ministry.”
Pepple, who said the mausoleum which was a national project that had to be completed before the country’s centenary celebration in 2014, also said the funds for the project had been split into the 2012 and 2013 budget.
“In this year’s budget, we have N530million in the 2012 budget with which we are going to start off the project with and we have also put N1billion in the budget for next year and if that is given to us we should be able to complete it within the time stipulated.
“So we are very hopeful that we will get the needed funds and the ministry is quiet ready to ensure that we get value for money for the job that we are giving out,” she said.
On the approved roadmap of the mining sector, Sade said the document was to awaken “ourselves to the various governmental policies to work on and targets to achieve.”
He said government had also given incentives to encourage investors in the sector, stating that all mining equipments brought into the country will be duty free.