The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N6.9 billion for the completion of work on the UN building in Abuja, which was bombed in 2011 by Boko Haram insurgents.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello revealed this to State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the amount would be used to purchase security gadgets and furnishing of the building, which Nigeria undertook to re-construct after the building, was bombed by insurgents about seven years ago.
He said: “The Council approved the sum of N6, 972,986,898 billion for the contract for the provision of security equipment and associated infrastructure including furnishing for UN building that is currently under construction in Abuja for a period of 12 months. The UN building was bombed in August 2011 by terrorists that almost destroyed the entire building as well as led to the loss of lives. At that time, as part of Nigeria’s commitment to the ideals of UN and the support and also as reciprocation of what the UN has done for this country over the years, the government decided to reconstruct the UN building. I’m very happy to say that the construction is almost completed. But in order to secure the building properly against future attacks of the type that occurred in 2011, the UN at the highest level contacted the government Nigeria and requested that some very critical security infrastructure needed to be put up in that building to enable the approximately 18 agencies of the UN that are presently housed in many buildings across Abuja, so that they can relocate to the building.”
Bello said the same company that initially constructed the building is still doing the reconstruction work.
“The contract was awarded to the main contractor that constructed the building, that is Julius Berger PLC at N6, 972,986,898. The scope of the contract is to provide the latest level of security parameter fencing that is capable of withstanding bomb blast as well as fortifying gates to the highest international standards and the creation of three police posts including the installations of body scanners, baggage scanners as well as the installation of close circuit television across the internal and external portions of the building. So all these will be done within a period of 13 months, hopefully by which time the UN will move to its office and they will be able to operate from one location under fortified security that is up to the standard that the UN is used to,” he said.