FG completes Zik’s Mausoleum, says project not politically-motivated
Finally, the federal government has completed Zik’s Mausoleum, the permanent burial site of Nigeria’s first president and Owelle of Onitsha, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in Ogbe-Abo village, Onitsha, 20 years after the contract was awarded.
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday paid a working visit to Anambra State to assess the progress of work at various project sites across the state.
Fashola, who arrived the mausoleum around midday in company of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, immediately toured the mausoleum complex.
The contract for the construction of Zik Mausoleum, otherwise known as the Zik’s Place, was first awarded in 1998 to Messrs Lemmy Akakem for N350 million.
Abandoned, it was re-awarded in 2013 to a French construction company at N1.49 billion.
The complex consists of the museum housing Zik’s grave and administrative unit on two floors. The administrative block has reception, offices, conference halls, VIP lounge, museum/archives, video display room, research, library, documentation and conveniences.
Fashola expressed satisfaction at the level of work, although he pointed out some errors at some sections of the administrative block to be corrected.
“When I came here in 2016 to see the Obi of Onitsha, we had a mandate from the president to do the needful here. This is my fourth visit here to monitor the project and nobody accused us of politics. Now that it is completed, people say it is politics. Well, if it is politics, I am proud of that politics.
“This is developmental politics and a good politics. I express my delight that the project is completed in record time. I commend staff of this ministry and the contractors who have kept faith by completing the project at the right time. I am happy that they kept their word. This is just one of the many more things that are coming,” he said.
Ngige explained that the mausoleum project had been on since 1996 when the Owelle passed, and that President Muhammadu Buhari, before he was elected in 2015, was in Onitsha in 2014 to Owelle Chuma Azikiwe.
Said Ngige: “This is the beginning of the great things coming to the Igbo from the Buhari government.
“What successive governments could not do in two decades, the APC government of President Buhari has done in three years.” Ngige stated.
Fashola later departed to inspect the extent of work along the Onitsha/Awka expressway, and made a stop over at Umunya to interact with the contractor.
He also visited the federal secretariat, Awka, lamenting that the project awarded several years ago was taking a long time to complete.
The minister assured that as soon as there is cash, the federal government would complete the project.