The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed plans to complete its N12billion building project known as the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre in March 2023.
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.
According to Pantami, the Cosgrove Limited project was initially planned to be finished in 36 months, starting in November 2020; however, because it is a legacy project from President Muhammadu Buhari, the ministry was able to engage the contractors to guarantee the project’s completion during this administration.
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 advantages 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.
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.
Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director General of NITDA, had earlier urged the contractor to make sure the project was finished on schedule.
The development of startups, manufacturers, and investors within Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, he said, would be impacted by the center.
Baba Khalid spoke on behalf of Cosgrove Limited Chairman Umar Abdullahi, who thanked the federal government for making the project possible.