Home OPINION COMMENTARY Cairo Ojougboh’s Media Interview Mischievous, By Suleiman Abubakar

Cairo Ojougboh’s Media Interview Mischievous, By Suleiman Abubakar


Former President, Goodluck Jonathan
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

In a recent interview, reported in some national dailies and online media, the National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, described as illegal, President Muhammadu Buhari’s action to release funds to States to pay workers’ salaries. He also attacked the national Centenary City Project (in Abuja), which was initiated during the tenure of President Goodluck.
In taking up these issues Cairo Ojougboh, either ignorantly or deliberately chose to forget that President Buhari won the last election and should, in compliance with the constitution, take actions showing that the welfare of Nigerians “is the primary purpose of the state and that you cannot describe as “crime personified” a project that has all its processes and legal status fully confirmed by law.
It is necessary to quickly point out certain basic facts concerning the issues highlighted in Ojougboh’s interview, so as to properly inform the reading public about the correct situation of things.
The Centenary City that Mr. Ojougboh talked about, was one of the Legacy Projects initiated by the Federal Government as part of activities to celebrate Nigeria’s 100 years anniversary as a nation. The then SGF, Senator Anyim was directed by the President to coordinate the activities for Nigeria’s Centenary Celebration and the Centenary City as a purely and wholly private sector driven and programme; without any financial involvement by the Federal government.
The land for the Centenary City Project was not given to any one man. The due processes for securing the land for the Centenary City Project are well documented and the records are available at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
Moreover, the transparent process and steps taken have been copiously documented publicly. These include the establishment, registration and incorporation of the Centenary City PLC, appointment  and inauguration of  its Board with His Excellency General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar (rtd) as Chairman, hiring of  its management, the withdrawal of the SGF as the Facilitator of the Centenary City Project after the inauguration of its Board, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Centenary City Project, the granting of a Free Zone status to Centenary City by NEPZA, and the commencement of the Centenary City Project by its principal developer – Eagle Hills International Properties LLC .
At present, the Centenary City PLC is a public limited liability company owned by known, credible and verifiably individuals and organizations, and duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). And is indeed the biggest single private foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria ever.
Moreover, Centenary City PLC duly applied to NEPZA for a Free Zone status. Their application was duly processed by NEPZA and recommended to the President by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment for approval. The Centenary City Free Zone, like the Eko Atlantic City Free Zone, was one of the 4 free zones approved by the President in 2014;
Clearly, the Centenary City initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan government will remain one of the most outstanding legacies any administration will ever leave behind in Nigeria. Even when it has become fashionable to deny every achievement of the Goodluck Jonathan Administration and denigrate and disparage everybody that served in it, the Centenary City will stick out as one well thought out, carefully planned, methodically implemented and social and economically rewarding initiative of any government in Nigeria. [myad]

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