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Insight & Analysis - May 25, 2022

7 Abandoned Projects in Nigeria

As of August 2021, the cost of the abandoned projects in Nigeria was approximately N12 trillion.

According to the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), there are around 56,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria.

Abba Tor, President of NIQS, says most of the projects were abandoned due to insufficient research on the monetary estimations required.

While the Federal Government abandoned some of the initiatives, the states ignored others.

These projects are run by private and public sector entities, meaning savings, bank credits, and tax-payer funds have been buried.

Here are 7 abandoned projects in Nigeria.


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1. Nigeria Airways

Nigeria Airways was founded in 1958 as the West African Airways Corporation Nigeria, with Nigeria as the principal shareholder. 

The airline had 20 planes and over 8000 employees during its rule, servicing customers throughout West Africa and Europe.

Nigeria Airways has been steadily declining since the 1980s due to the adoption of International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs and corruption, mismanagement, and over-staffing. 

Since the mid-1980s, the carrier’s debts had outpaced its profits to the point where its aircraft were detained or confiscated for unpaid bills.

However, by 1999, the airline had ceased to exist. In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration declared plans to restore the airline, and it was rebranded to Nigerian Air. 

According to Punch, the government awarded a Danish consulting firm the contract to redesign the Nigerian Air logo at the cost of $1 million. Unfortunately, the project never saw the light of day.

2. Ajaokuta Steel project

The Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State was supposed to form the foundation for Nigeria’s industrialisation.

The steel complex had reached 98 percent completion as early as 1994, but when it was abandoned. No steel was produced. 

The project, which was meant to cost $650 million, has cost the federal government over $8 billion.

The Senate had passed a bill asking for $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to complete the facility, but President Buhari rejected it.

In 1979, Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration conceived this abandoned project in order to develop industrialisation and establish a functional steel industry in the country.

With a delivery date of 1986, the contract for the establishment of the Ajaokuta Steel project was signed with TyazhPromExport of the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, the project has yet to be completed in 2022.

3. Federal Secretariat Ikoyi

The Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, Lagos State, was formerly a bustling hub for government businesses, bureaucrats, and others who worked in the several ministries, departments, and organisations that were housed there.

Before the country’s Federal Capital was moved to Abuja in 1991, the huge 15-story tower that served as a landmark property in a prime location in Lagos State was stripped of its grandeur and splendour.

Touts and miscreants have taken up residence in the masterpiece.

4. Suleja International Hotel

When the notion of moving Nigeria’s capital city from Lagos to Abuja was considered, federal parastatals were located in the Suleja emirate.

For almost 37 years, the Suleja International Hotel, located at the foot of the iconic Zuma Rock on the Abuja-Kaduna road, has been abandoned.

The Suleja International Hotel project was launched in 1981 near the stunning Zuma Rock. It was meant to be a five-star hotel and a tourist centre due to its strategic location.

However, the proposal has not materialised because the structures have been abandoned for decades.

Zuma Rock has been blamed for the Niger State government’s decision to discontinue the Suleja International Hotel project.

For many years, various beliefs have surrounded the famed rock, including that it is a portal to the afterlife, a celestial protector and supernatural creature, and an avenger of wrongdoings against those who reside nearby.

5. Bayelsa Tower Hotel

The 18-story, five-star Tower Hotel project was code-named “Tower of Controversies” since it sparked debate in Bayelsa State.

The late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha started the initiative to serve as a tourism destination for people from all walks of life in Nigeria. The project, however, is nowhere near completion after six governors and billions of naira spent.

The multi-billion naira state-owned project has stagnated several years after the plan was conceived and billions of naira were put into it.

6. Millennium Tower

The Millennium Tower and Cultural Centre is one of several developments in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja’s Central District. 

It is Abuja’s tallest artificial structure, standing at 170 meters. Manfredi Nicoletti designed the tower, which is part of the Nigerian National Complex, which also contains the Nigerian Cultural Centre, an eight-story low-rise pyramid-shaped Cultural Centre. 

Nicoletti began building the tower in 2006, and it was completed in 2014, but the cultural centre is still being built.

The predicted time for completion of the project was meant to be in 2011, which was going to be in time for the capital’s 20th birthday. But the project was never completed.

7. Plateau Olympic Stadium

The project was designed to be a standard stadium capable of competing with any other in the country, if not the continent. 

When the stadium’s foundation was erected in 1988, it was designed to be unique. The stadium, however, has yet to host its maiden competition 32 years later.

Between 1988 and 2014, N7 billion was spent on construction, with another N4 billion needed to finish it.


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