Corruption and Neglect: The Plight of Abandoned Projects in Nigeria

It is estimated that there are over 56,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria. According to a research, Since 1960, two-thirds of very large projects done were abandoned. A total of 11,886 federal government projects have been 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 an abandoned project somewhere.

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

Causes of project abandonment in Nigeria


It’s no news that stakeholders get kickbacks from contractors to execute projects in Nigeria. At the state and federal levels, receiving kickbacks from construction companies is the sad 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. There are instances where projects have been awarded to companies without an address or a traceable figure.

Wrong estimates

It is not uncommon for the Nigerian government to award contracts to individuals without any previous construction experience. Most of these contractors are either relatives, political party members or allies who don’t even have a registered construction company. 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.An example is the Rivers moonrail project.

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 then mismanaged.  There’s been several cases of constituency projects being used to finance private building projects.

Inadequate finance

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.

Other factors responsible for project abandonment in Nigeria include: lack of project monitoring tours, legal tussles over land wnership, death of project manager, political factors and natural disasters.

List of abandoned projects in Nigeria

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,but was reawared  in 2018. 11 years gone and the road construction is still not completed.It is so sad that there’s a facebook group dedicated to monitor the activities.

Olokoro-Isiala-Oboro-Nnono Junction

This road construction project was awarded to Bok Company Nigeria Limited at the sum of N515,315,493.00 on December 21, 2010.The project which shouldn’t have taken more than two years is still “on-going” as they say. Ripplesnigeria reported that only a small section of the are has been rehabilitated since 2018.

ROC International hotel

Plateau state is one state littered with many abandoned projects in Nigeria. One of the notable abandoned projects in the state is the “renowned” ROC international hotel which is a replica of the famous Sheraton Hotel in the federal capital territory.

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 over four decades and the project is nowhere near completion.

Nigerian Airways

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.

Presently, Tinapa is all just beautiful nature with little or no activities going on around the resort.  The theatres, studios and most other facilities are no longer functioning, no activity or events, the water slide as been abandoned, even the tourist view ride(bus)  has been totally abandoned. 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 within 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 after spending over N33 billion.

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.

Sokoto IPP project

The Sokoto Independent Power Project was awarded in 2008 by Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko’s administration to Vulcan Capital Energy, a US-based company. Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s administration inherited the project in 2015. Initially valued at N3.8 billion with a six-month completion period, the deadlines were extended multiple times, ultimately resulting in a total expenditure of N5.5 billion. During its test run on November 30, 2019, it was revealed that the plant would consume 33,000 liters of diesel daily, equating to a yearly consumption of 12,045,000 liters. Concerns were raised about its feasibility due to the need for external diesel sourcing. In 2014, the then Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, expressed reservations about the project’s reliance on diesel from elsewhere during his inspection tour in Sokoto State.