N22bn pri­vate in­vest­ment for Utako Mo­tor Park

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - By Ben Atonko

Agree­ment for the re­de­vel­op­ment of Utako Mo­tor Park into ul­tra mod­ern trans­port cen­tre/shop­ping mall was signed by the Federal Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FCTA) and In­tercity Trans­port Ter­mi­nal Limited (ITTL) on Tues­day April 1, 2014 in Abuja. If this agree­ment works, what is to­day Utako garage will be trans­formed into a mod­ern trans­port hub.

The agree­ment in­volv­ing FCTA, Abuja Mu­nic­i­pal Area Coun­cil (AMAC) and ITTL is for the trans­for­ma­tion of Utako Mo­tor Park into ul­tra-mod­ern trans­port ter­mi­nal in line with the FCT mas­ter plan. It is one of the nu­mer­ous pub­lic pri­vate sec­tor col­lab­o­ra­tions in Abuja.

The pri­vate firm, ITTL is given the land to con­struct the ter­mi­nal us­ing its own fi­nances, man­age it for 25 years to re­coup its in­vest­ment and then trans­fer own­er­ship to govern­ment - FCTA/AMAC. While build­ing the ter­mi­nal, the pri­vate firm must work in con­form­ity with the Utako District de­tailed site de­vel­op­ment plan and lay­out with ap­proved fi­nal en­gi­neer­ing de­signs and draw­ings.

The project to be ex­e­cuted in four years will gulp $134,483,543 (N22 bil­lion). This in­volves com­pen­sa­tion and re­set­tle­ment cost of third party li­a­bil­ity. ITTL and its spon­sor­ing con­trac­tor, Nerida In­ter­na­tional will jointly fi­nance and ex­e­cute the project in its en­tirety.

The Min­is­ter of State, Oloye Ola­jumoke Ak­in­jide who signed the agree­ment on be­half of FCTA said the agree­ment de­mands that the de­vel­oper makes eq­uity con­tri­bu­tion of a min­i­mum of 15 per­cent of to­tal project cost in 90 days. He is also to se­cure a debt of 85 per­cent of the to­tal cost from a rep­utable fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion as the prin­ci­pal debt.

The min­is­ter said the agree­ment took ef­fect from April 1, 2014, the day the con­tract documents were signed by govern­ment and the in­vestor and will re­main in force for 25 years.

“For me, I would say this project is govern­ment at its best. This is a pioneer flag­ship prokect. In de­vel­oped coun­tries, there are mo­tor ter­mi­nals. Ours aren’t what they should be. We feel Utako is in the heart of the city,” the FCT Min­is­ter of State said.

While ITTL holds 70 per­cent stakes, the AMAC and FCTA hold 20 and 10 per­cent re­spec­tively. The project is to be ex­e­cuted in 48 months.

Ac­cord­ing to the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) of ITTL, Prof Inyangete, the trans­porta­tion ter­mi­nal will have so­cial-po­lit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions. He said it will cre­ate a sus­tain­able ve­hi­cle for gen­er­at­ing mass trans­porta­tion even as it will cre­ate a new busi­ness and eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity - it will build ca­pac­ity.

While re­spond­ing to ques­tions from jour­nal­ists, he said, “We be­lieve our project has at­tracted multi-mil­lion dol­lar for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment to the econ­omy of Nigeria.

“In the spirit of part­ner­ship, this project which is a PPP be­tween us the pri­vate sec­tor and the pub­lic sec­tor as share­hold­ers, the pub­lic sec­tor owns 30 per­cent of the ini­tia­tive. In that spirit of part­ner­ship we re­quest our pub­lic sec­tor part­ners to re­spond by pro­vid­ing us per­mit, li­censes and ap­provals that are nec­es­sary for timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project.

“One of the chal­lenges is se­cur­ing va­cant po­si­tion in good time. Suc­cess will de­pend on com­mit­ment of our part­ners in re­vamp­ing the FCT trans­porta­tion pol­icy to ad­dress the need for in­ter mod­ule trans­port sys­tem with rail trans­porta­tion sys­tem in­te­grated.

“In or­der to en­hance the long term im­pact and sus­tain­abil­ity of the pro­posed trans­porta­tion hub, we use this op­por­tu­nity to re­quest the FCTA to al­lo­cate land to us for build­ing a fac­tory. This fac­tory will bring in the tech­nol­ogy that we’ve spo­ken of - tech­nol­ogy that will ac­cel­er­ate the

Cont’d from page 33

process of con­struc­tion as well as make it more af­ford­able for af­ford­able hous­ing scheme that is dear to the govern­ment of the day.

“We also need land for a ded­i­cated work­shop and main­te­nance garage for us to build a place where you can truly ser­vice, not just buses but all the heavy duty trucks in the na­tion.

“We have brought pas­sion, com­mit­ment and love for what we set out to do. We will in­deed deliver and we do not in­tend to fail you.”

A se­nior FCTA of­fi­cial who did not want his name men­tioned said, “We did due dili­gence and the agree­ment is struc­tured to make it work. We have been work­ing on this project since 2012. We trav­elled across three con­ti­nents to get the con­sor­tium that has the ca­pac­ity to deliver.”

But trans­porters in Utako garage have been told this plan to turn their place into a mod­ern trans­port hub. When Daily Trust vis­ited the place last week, the Chair­man of Branch One Long Jour­ney Taxi, Utako, Al­haji Abubakar Us­taz said, “We heard it from the press. Govern­ment hasn’t met any of us on this - no word from Abuja Mu­nic­i­pal Area Coun­cil, none from FCT [ad­min­is­tra­tion].”

He said, “It’s here we get our daily bread but any­thing govern­ment says, we have no ob­jec­tion. But we would like govern­ment to give us al­ter­na­tive place - it shouldn’t be far from the main city.” Govern­ment has not said what will hap­pen to the nu­mer­ous trans­porters and their cus­tomers when con­struc­tion works start.

A trans­port worker in the park said if govern­ment fails to give ap­pro­pri­ate al­ter­na­tive place, there will be pro­lif­er­a­tion of mo­tor parks in the city - many will try to cre­ate garages for them­selves.

What is to­day Utako garage was Wuse garage. When de­vel­op­ment plans were en­forced, the mo­tor people were chased away from Wuse. They re­grouped at Berger Junc­tion. Here too, they were chased to Zuba. But trans­porters and trav­el­ers com­plained that the place was too far and move­ment to the city cen­tre was be­com­ing more chal­leng­ing due to ac­tiv­i­ties of bad people who cam­ou­flaged as taxi driv­ers. Of­ten, they picked trav­el­ers and robbed them on the way be­tween the city cen­tre and Zuba.

Govern­ment hear­kened to the cries. The late Mam­man Kon­tagora who was Min­is­ter of FCT, in Fe­bru­ary 1999 ap­proved the re­turn of the trans­porters to Utako garage.

There are eight trans­port union branches in Utako garage - two town ser­vice, six in­ter­state. Over 1,000 ve­hi­cles come in and leave with pas­sen­gers in this park daily.

The place does not fit the sta­tus of Abuja as trans­port ter­mi­nal. The park’s scruffy state is wors­ened by the de­mo­li­tion of what was called Bakassi mar­ket in the Cen­tral Area. Some of those who lost busi­ness premises in the mar­ket mi­grated to Utako garage. Now, apart from trans­porters, the place has metal scrap col­lec­tors form­ing what is pop­u­larly called Pan­teka, mo­tor re­pair­ers ( me­chan­ics) and all sorts of hawk­ers re­sult­ing chaos in the place.

This is not the first time govern­ment is part­ner­ing a pri­vate firm on Utako Mo­tor Park. An indige­nous com­pany, Eke­son Mo­tors was at a time en­gaged to as­sist govern­ment run Utako garage. How well that col­lab­o­ra­tion went can­not be given here.

File photo: Utako Mo­tor Park

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.