Nigeria to spend N2.7 billion on repair, security of bombed UN office

The Nigerian government is planning to initiate an elaborate security measure and a rehabilitation process for the United Nations office in Abuja, wrecked by a huge bomb attack that killed dozens last year, at the cost of N2.7 billion.

The project will be carried out by the Federal Capital Territory administration after a long delay that has dragged through nine months since the bomb attacks. The huge bill is part of the FCTA’s expenditure for 2012.

The August 26, 2011 blast tore through the gates of the building within the Central Business District of the FCT, killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 100 in the worst bomb assault witnessed in Nigeria at the time.

The explosion ruined the three-storey UN office and shattered windows of nearby offices after a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the compound. Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

However, several months after the Nigerian government, through the ministers of foreign affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, and the FCT, Bala Mohammed, pledged to refurbish the structure within two months, the project has yet to commence.

Members of staff are said to be operating from different locations within the city.

The reconstruction and provision of “additional” security for the building, is now posted as the only new capital project of the federal capital territory administration, after the office pruned some of its previous projects in the 2012 budget signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan in April.

The N2.736 billion voted for the contract will also cover rental costs for new office space for the displaced staff, the FCTA says in its budget.

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