The Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, on Thursday handed over the Metro Plaza building in Abuja to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON.
The handover follows the completion of payment of N2.4 billion by the commission to AMCON for the purchase of the building which will now serve as the permanent site of the commission.
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, had on June 28 this year granted approval for the purchase of the building by NAHCON.
The commission, in a statement, said the approval by FEC “was granted consequent upon the commission’s ability to raise the sum of N2 billion out of the N2.4 billion of the agreed price.”
It also said the balance of the payment would be paid from the commission’s 2017 capital budget outlay.
Speaking shortly after the handover ceremony, the representative of the Managing Director of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, confirmed the payment.
He also said as a government institution, ”There is nothing that AMCON will dispose of without going through due process.” He explained that NAHCON went through the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, in acquiring the building.
“On the part of AMCON, we have to also get approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria. That was obtained, before we even accepted a kobo from them”, he said.
On his part, chairman of NAHCON said the commission will first renovate the building after current owners have vacated before moving in.
Mr. Mohammed also said the building ”does not belong to NAHCON, or Muslims alone” but will serve as a centre for the propagation against hate speeches and unity among adherents of the two major religions: Islam and Christianity.
He said advocacy against hate speech is now a movement and that both NAHCON and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, will be at the forefront of such advocacy.
“In as much as human beings exist, there will always be conflict, there will always be hate speech. There will always be people who will continue with that movement even after we have left. It is our hope that this building will serve as a centre for that”, he said.
He also said NAHCON was able to acquire the building despite prevailing economic challenges due to the “spirit and encouragement” given to the leadership of the commission by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The president admonished us to be very transparent and honest in all we do and through our efforts, we were able to generate the fund and we put it to good use. The most important this is that this building is a legacy by the administration of president Muhammadu Buhari.”
The Executive Secretary of NCPC, Tor Uja, who also graced the occasion lauded the initiative by NAHCON in acquiring the complex. He also said it has personally challenged him to do more for the NPCP.
Mr. Uja also confirmed that Mr. Mohammed ”has invited the NCPC to always take advantage of the plaza for its programms.”