President Mohammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Receive Centenary City Plc. in Audience
Abuja, August 28 2015: On 10th August 2015, the management of Centenary City Plc. wrote Mr. President on behalf of the Board to seek audience for a courtesy call on His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR following the Company’s 10th Board meeting scheduled to hold on 27th August 2015.
On 20th August 2015, Mr. President, accepted our request to receive the Board and management of Centenary City Plc. in audience on Friday 28th August 2015 at 1200 hours in the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja. This was conveyed via a letter from the Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Alhaji Mohammed Bukar.
In attendance at the meeting were the Vice President, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, the new Chief of Staff to the President, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON, the Permanent Secretary State House, Engr. Nebo Emordi, the Permanent Secretary Federal Capital Territory Administration, Engr. John Chukwu, and a host of other government officials.
During the visit, the Chairman of the Board of Centenary City Plc., Gen (rtd.) Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar, GCFR, thanked Mr. President for granting the Board and management of Centenary City Plc. an audience to brief His Excellency on the Centenary City Project, which is a fall out of our nation’s Centenary Celebration.
He further told His Excellency that the Centenary City Project is 100% private sector driven and promises to create at least 250,000 well-paying jobs. Gen. Abdulsalami introduced some of the investors and Board members present including His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Alabbar, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, Mrs. Florunsho Alakija , Chief (Dr.) Cletus Ibeto, CON, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, CON, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN, CON, Engr. Hani Saliba, Mr. George Marks, Mr. Monabe Mitee, Mr. Ugo Nkwocha, Mr. Emmanuel Uchola, Mrs. Akuchukwu Fabusoye, Dr. Odenigwe Ike Michaels, Jr., Ms. Boma Ozobia, Esq, OON, and Mr. Jaimal Shergill.
On his part, Mr. Jaimal Shergill, Executive Director (Africa) for Eagle Hills briefed the President on the progress made so far to bequeath the nation a fitting tribute to Nigeria's 100 years as a united country based on the “Dubai model” as well as the economic benefits of boosting the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors of the economy with over 100,000 construction jobs and 250,000 well-paying jobs in the face of dwindling oil receipts.
Making a presentation to Mr. President, Dr. Odenigwe Ike Michaels, Jr., the Managing Director of Centenary City Plc., stated that the Company is a public limited liability company with 40 promoter investors made up of Nigerian and international investors and therefore 100% private sector driven with no iota of government funding. He also stated that management in accordance with its mandate from the Board has in conjunction with the FCDA and in line with the Company’s Development Agreement with the FCTA compensated all interested holders on site and the relocation of the original inhabitants is being carefully addressed.
Furthermore, Dr. Odenigwe Jr. told Mr. President that following the precedent set by the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos, the Company also successfully applied for free zone status for the Centenary City Project having complied with all extant requirements of NEPZA. Finally, he humbly invited Mr. President to visit the project site in his convenience to see for himself and to declare the Sales Center open.
In his response, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, was pleased that the compensation to the original inhabitants has been paid and their relocation being addressed. He stated that this has been the chief worry of the Buhari Administration. He therefore wished the Project every success and support.
Thereafter, President Buhari thanked the Board and management for their visit, and praised the Centenary City’s main development partners from the United Arab Emirates for having enough confidence in Nigeria to agree to invest about $18.5 billion in the project. He was optimistic that the skills, expertise and vast experience that would be brought into Nigeria to build the Centenary City on the Dubai model, would also be of immense benefit to Nigeria.
Mr. President further looked forward to regular updates on the Centenary City’s development, reiterated that his Administration would continue to support all genuine foreign investors in Nigeria as the nation faced enormous financial challenges. Finally, he promised he would visit the project site in due course as time permits.