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FG gets delivery date for N12 billion entrepreneurship centre

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
05 December 2022   |   4:10 am
The Federal Government plans to complete its N12billion edifice known as National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre in March next year.

National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre project in Abuja

The Federal Government plans to complete its N12billion edifice known as National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre in March next year.

The building has a total built-up space of more than 1,500 square meters and on two floors with various categories of short-stay apartments, 12 standard rooms, four two-bedroom apartments and six studio apartments.

Subsequent floors hold a world-class data centre and network-operating centre, a double-volume network operating centre and an auditorium.

The second tower will host the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) office spaces, 3D printing Lab, IT museum, media studio, showroom, staff gym, storage unit and sick bay.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, who disclosed this after an inspection tour of the site, stated that the project was first approved by the Federal Government in November 11, 2020, while the augmentation was approved in April 5, 2021.

Pantami explained that the project being handled by Cosgrove Limited, was initially expected to be completed within 36 months, commencing from November 2020; however, considering that it is a legacy project by President Muhammadu Buhari, the ministry was able to engage the contractors to ensure the completion of the project within this current government.

Giving a breakdown of the project cost the minister said, “In the first project, the price is N9.56 billion and an additional facility cost of N2.65billion, totaling N12billion. To be fair to you, if not because of the prudent manner NITDA is handling the project, if it was another agency, the project cost would have doubled.

On the benefits of the project to the economy, Pantami noted that it is part of government’s diversification initiative, as the centre wouldld warehouse recently assented Startups Act and its smooth implementation for the benefit of Nigerians.

“This building will play a significant role in implementing the Startups Act, particularly if you look at the floors dedicated to training. The building will coordinate the issue of tax holiday, pioneering status and intellectual property and other benefits,” he stated.

Earlier, the Director General NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, urged the contractor to ensure the completion of the project in record time.

He explained that the centre would impact the growth of startups, manufacturers and investors within Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

The Chairman, Cosgrove Limited, Umar Abdullahi, represented by Baba Khalid, commended the Federal Government for facilitating the project.