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N21 Billion VP Residence Sparks Controversy: Architect reveaIs actual cost

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An architect argues that the newly inaugurated vice president’s residence in Abuja should not have cost over one billion naira, contrary to the reported N14 billion expenditure.

An architect and civil engineer has told The press that it shouldn’t cost a billion naira to finish the newly inaugurated vice president’s residence in Abuja.

While speaking with the press on Tuesday, the engineer, who asked not to be named, said the amount reported to have been spent to complete the building, which was already built to an advanced stage by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, was outrageous.

“Anything they’re using to do this thing won’t be up to a billion, just look at it in the range of millions,” she said.

On June 7, the federal government inaugurated the official residence of the vice president, built at a cost of N21 billion.

According to the State House, the residence, located at Three Arms Zone, Abuja, was awarded during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure in 2010 at N7 billion but could not be completed for his deputy, Namadi Sambo, to move in.

When Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, he stated that the residence was not a priority, and Yemi Osibanjo, the then vice president, remained in the Akinola Aguda House, which served as his official residence for eight years.

Thirteen years later, in November 2023, the Bola Tinubu-led administration announced that it was planning to renovate and complete the residence at a cost of N15 billion. This decision sparked outrage among citizens and raised questions. The building was eventually completed with N14 billion, according to the government.

The press findings revealed that as of December 2012, the earliest time an image of the building appeared on the internet, the building had neared completion and the Senate Committee on FCT matters had rejected Sambo’s request for an additional N9 billion to provide furniture, fencing and a banquet hall, among others, in the residence.

An image of the building as of 2012

The now-completed residence of the VP
Source: X

Also, several media reports from 2019 (here, here and here) show that the residence had reached the finishing stage before Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), began work on the project in November 2023.

An image of the residence before 2023, when the Bola Tinubu-led administration began work on it.
Source: Internet

The engineer who spoke with the press stated that the building was not newly constructed, leaving questions about what the additional billions were spent on.

She said that the completed building has an old architectural design, which implies that it was likely constructed between 40 and 50 years ago.

“The building seems to be about 40–50 years old because of its design. The design is an old style of building, and it is a classical style of building,” she said.

The civil engineer also told the press that based on the last known stage of the building before November 2023, the completion, including furnishing, should not cost more than N100 million.

Not knowing whose building it was, she said, “With the level the first one had gotten to, about N80 million would finish it, N20 million would also complete the furnishing.”

When he found out it was the vice president’s residence, she said it could cost more, as every procedure and standard of building construction would be followed. She, however, said it could be completed with less than a billion naira.

While addressing attendants at the inauguration, Wike stated that to complete the building, N14 billion was added to the N7 billion originally budgeted for it in 2010, bringing the total cost to N21 billion.

“This project was awarded in 2010, 14 years ago, the vice president’s residence, and 14 years later is when we are commissioning. And it was awarded at the cost of N7 billion in 2010 and was abandoned in 2015,” Wike said.

“It was in January this year that we had a revised budget to make it N21 billion, which is from 7 billion to an additional N14 billion.”


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