© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
PHOTOS: After 36 years of neglect, FG building in Abuja remains an eyesore
This report is produced by a team of campus journalists: Taofeekat AJAYI, Yusuf AKINPELU, Enoch STEPHEN and Alfred OLUFEMI.
A DECREPIT uncompleted building at the Federal Capital Central Business District (CBD) Abuja is yet to get a face-lift, 36-years after the federal government property was first commissioned.
Over the years, the neglected infrastructure within the twin-complex Federal Secretariat has doubled as a home and commercial hub for some of the city homeless.
The complex accommodates prominent government establishments, including the federal ministries of finance, education and health, Nigeria Police Force Headquarters as well as a few private establishments.
It was built by the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida who ruled Nigeria between August 27, 1985, and August 27, 1993. Mr. Babangida relocated the seat of the federal government from Lagos to Abuja on December 12, 1991.
This building has remained abandoned under several military and civilian administrations, from that of Babangida who built the secretariat, to those of the late Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umar Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and now Muhammadu Buhari: A span of 36 years.
In 2017, a PREMIUM TIMES reporter who visited the area gathered that the building is originally part of Phase Three of the federal secretariat, but it was not allocated to any ministry or agency because it was uncompleted.
Workers, who declined to be identified for fear of victimisation by the government, said the illegal activities taking place in the abandoned building and the general lawlessness of its occupants are well known at the secretariat.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Muktar Ibrahim, denied such building existed, but investigations by this paper showed that his claim was false.
“The board is not aware of an abandoned building in the secretariat,” Mr. Ibrahim told the reporter. “Because apart from the waste, an abandoned building also has security implications. We would have done evacuation if we knew because we have an environmental monitoring unit.”
Meanwhile, when this team of reporters visited the site in April, the building still remained standing in its squalid state.
The pictures below mirror the daily lives of residents who use the edifice as relaxation spot, restaurant, smoking joint and for all kinds of trading activities.