Tahir Mamman, the minister of education, has prioritised the completion of the National Library, promising to complete and deliver the project in the next 21 months.
The edifice, which is currently rotting away in the heart of Abuja, was first awarded in 2006 to Reynolds Construction at the cost of N8.5 billion. The Federal Government re-awarded the project in March 2010 for 21 months at the cost of N49.6 billion, but the building is yet to be completed, several years after.
Mamman, speaking on Tuesday during a tour of the library with some heads of agencies, assured that contractor in charge of the project would return to site to deliver the national edifice for the good of the citizenry.
“This project is too important for Nigerians and we have this project uncompleted for close to 20 years. We know the importance of a library not to talk about a national library,” he said.
The minister said President Bola Tinubu would not accept uncompleted projects anywhere; and was determined to deliver on what will bring progress and development. “So, the decision is that everyone involved must come back to site,” he said.
When asked about the cost required to complete the project, the minister refused to comment on it. He said although there were issues surrounding the project, but they were being worked out as everyone involved would come together to review the cost.
“There are some issues here and there but the project will be completed in about 21 months. We are urging the construction company to deliver the project because we’ve dragged it for too long and the project is too important to be dragged any further.
“So, whatever is the obstacle in the project, we are determined to go over it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chinwe Anunobi, of the National Library, has identified bureaucratic bottlenecks to have hindered the completion of the project since awarded in 2006. She also assured that work would commence immediately, saying that the monitoring would be followed by meetings of stakeholders involved in the project.