It is estimated that there are over 56,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria. According to a research by Professor Kole Omotosho, 11,886 federal government projects were abandoned in the past 40 years. These abandoned projects are spread across all six geo-political zones in the country. From the north to the south and from the east to the west, the stories are all the same. Billions of naira that should have been used for the good of the nation, completely gone down the drain with nothing to show for it. From the federal to the state, and even local government levels, you’ll find abandoned projects everywhere. It has become a norm for elected office holders to stop funding projects and divert the funds for their own personal gains.
Although the practice is a common scene in Africa, it’s a lot more common in Nigeria. When elected government officials are about to end their tenure in office, they stop funding whatever project they are working on. They leave the projects for the newly elected officials who then abandon the projects. On rare occasions, if the newly elected office holder belongs to the same party as the out-going official, the contract may be re-awarded to another contractor.
The south-east has the highest number of abandoned projects in the country with an estimated total of 15,000 followed by the south-south with 11,000. The south-west is next with an estimated total of 10,000 abandoned projects, North-west has 7000, in the north-central 7000, 5000 in the North West while the federal capital territory (Abuja) has 2000.
List of Abandoned projects in Nigeria
Calabar Itu Highway Road
The calabar Itu highway road project was awarded Frank &Gene International limited in 2013. The road project was supposed to be 12.7km with a bridge but only 6km of the project was done. The remaining part of the project remains uncompleted till date.
ROC International hotel
Plateau state is one state littered with many abandoned government projects. One of the notable abandoned projects in the state is the “renowned” ROC international hotel.
The history of this project dates back to 1981, when it was awarded by Late Solomon Lar’s administration to Flemington Dev. (Nigeria) Ltd. The vision of the project was to build a luxurious 5 star hotel destination sought by investors and tourists.
Roc hotel , located at Shere hills in Jos North Local government of Plateau state seat on 29 hectares of Land. The 318 room project on completion, would have presidential suites, luxury suites, executive suites, specialty restaurants, casino, standard Olympic size swimming pool, golf course, cinema, helipad, horse stable and many other luxurious facilities.
It’s been close to 4 decades and the project is nowhere near completion.
Plateau Olympic Stadium
Gen Onoja had a great vision for the plateau stadium when the plan for the project was conceived; a standard stadium that could compete with any other stadium in the country and even on the continent. The stadium was supposed to be one of a kind when its foundation was laid in 1988. However, 32 years down the line, the stadium is still yet to host its first tournament.
A total of N7 billion has been spent on the structure from 1988 to 2014 and it still needs N4 billion to get it completed.
Nigeria Airways started as West African Airways Corporation Nigeria (WAAC Nigeria) in 1958 with Nigeria as majority owner. During its reign, Nigerian airways had 20 planes and over 8000 staff serving her customers around West Africa and Europe. However, by 1999 the airline was completely dead.
In 2019, the administration of President Mohammed Buhari announced plans to revive the Nigeria airways. It was even rebranded to Nigerian Air. A Danish consulting firm was awarded the contract of redesign the Nigerian Air logo at a cost of $1M. The project itself never saw the light of day
Minna 5 star Hotel
This is one of the major abandoned real estate projects in Nigeria.This project dates back to 2009, when the Niger state government conceived the idea to build the Minna 5 star hotel. A total of N500 million has been spent on the project and it still need N19.6b to get it completed
Before the project was inaugurated on April 2, 2007, the project had generated enough buzz online and offline. The publicity for the project was huge and so did the expectation. The $470m(N55.88bn) project was conceived under the administration of Governor Donald Duke, it was supposed to serve as a tourist hub for people all around Nigeria and income generation source for the government of the state.
But now, Tinapa can best be described as a ghost town.
Rivers Moonrail project
The Idea for the moonrail project was conceived by Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the former governor of the state. The project was designed to ease transportation problems withn the state. The moonrail project was designed to cover 12km at a total cost of N50 billion but the project got abandoned at 2.6km
Minna Airport City
A total of N800 million has been spent on this project.N600m spent on the city tower while N200 million has been spent on the shopping mall. The project is still nowhere near completion as it requires N12 billion to get it completed. The city tower is supposed to be 17 floors but contractors are still on the fourth floor.
Ajaokuta Steel Company.
This abandoned project was conceived in 1979 by the administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo to develop industrialization and have a functional steel industry in the country.
The contract for the establishment of the Ajaokuta Steel project was signed with TyajzPromExport of the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republic with a delivery date of 1986. However, the project is still uncompleted till date.
The federal government has spent over $8bn on the project which was supposed to cost $650m
The project was also later abandoned in 1994 when it was 99 percent completed and no reason was given for its abandonment till date.
Bayelsa Tower Hotel
The project was initiated by the Late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to be a serve as a destination for tourists and people from all walks of life in Nigeria. However, after 6 governors and billions of naira spent, the project is nowhere near completion. It was designed to be a 14 storey building but it was redesigned to an 18 storey building by Timipre Sylvia (the third governor to see the project). About N13.9 billion has been spent on the project and it still needs another 5 billion to complete.
Federal Secretariat Ikoyi
Built in 1976, the federal secretariat complex was a masterpiece to behold. Located in Alagbon, Ikoyi
44 years later, the masterpiece is now home to louts and miscreants in the area. Since the federal capital territory was moved to Abuja in 1992, the building has been let to rot.
In 2009, the Federal government made plans turn the building into a residential apartment which was stopped by the former Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola citing that it contravenes the building plans of the area. Below is the current state of the Federal Secretariat complex now.
Nkporo abriba ohafia road project
This road construction project that shouldn’t have taken more than 2 years to complete is sadly still “on-going” according to the contractors, Dutum group. On May 30 2012, the federal government awarded the Nkporo abriba ohafia road project to Dutum group for a sum of N2.7bn. This contruction projected was supposed to be completed by 2014, 8 years gone and the road and bridge construction is still not completed. The state of this road has grown so bad that there’s an awareness group on about it on facebook.
Causes of project abandonment in Nigeria
Everyone will agree that the number one cause of abandoned projects in Nigeria is corruption. From the conception stage to implementation, every step of the process is filled with corruption.
It’s no news that government in Nigeria get kickbacks from contractors to execute a project. At the state and federal levels, receiving kickbacks for a project is the norm. Even in some cases, the contractor has to pay different people at different levels after submitting the final proposal. This affects project delivery and in some cases, can lead to abandonment of the project by the contractor.
These projects have now become avenues for massive looting and wastage of the nation’s resources.
There are instances where projects have been awarded to companies without an address or a traceable figure.
It is not uncommon for the Nigerian government to award contracts to individuals without any previous construction experience. Most of these contractors are either relative, political party members or friends of people in government who don’t even have a registered construction business. These people present estimates which they think will be favourable to them and their allies, they then realize midway that the proposed fees won’t be enough after settling those that need to be settled.
Diversion of project resources
According to the World Bank, about $1.5 trillion in public contracts are influenced by corruption. This is no exception in Nigeria. Projects are grossly inflated (popularly referred to as padding) and the mismanaged. There’s been cases of constituency projects being used to finance private building projects.
Abandoned projects in Nigeria are also caused by inadequate finance from the government. There’s usually an agreement in place between the government and contractor about payment. Contractors are usually left with no choice but to abandon the project when the government renegades on the payment agreement.