President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday performed the ground-breaking and unveiling ceremony of the Centenary City, Abuja, as Nigeria commemorates its 1914 amalgamation.
Jonathan, who spoke about the significance of the theme city described it as a symbol of the spirit of the country’s determination.
“I am pleased to state that the successes of such cities as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Shenzhen in the Peoples’ Republic of China, and the Songdo International Business District in South Korea had shown that the development of a themed city is a strong social, political and economic tool for securing foreign investment, promoting positive international attention and heralding new national economic renaissance,” the president said.
“Offering free trade status, outstanding infrastructure, secured business environment, and efficient transport services, this Centenary City promises a unique and innovative global standard in Real Estate creativity.
“I am very pleased that our Centenary City has been designed by a reputable world-class design team as an efficient “mixed-use” City with emphasis on modernity and Nigeria’s distinctive cultural heritage, ably integrating contemporary demands and future expectations into a working scheme that will allow the City develop in a sustainable and socially responsive manner.
“It is important that the outcome will be a modern city where natural beauty and architectural ingenuity will merge to create an environment, alive and productive, with many unique sub-themes including a prominent cultural core with various symbols of Nigeria’s unity and strength, a green-city concept, as well as Presidential Archives that will house the history of our political development.
“It is my determination to make the Centenary City a sustainable and viable economic project, providing not just the best infrastructure and facilities, but also an example in urban management, maintenance and security. It will remain totally a business venture, owned and managed by private business people and investors, but Government shall continue to be the vision driver, providing the necessary, conducive investment, and functional environment.
“The Nigerian story is one of admirable and remarkable progress. Nigeria’s Centenary and the Centenary City provide a wonderful opportunity for all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to proudly share in the nation’s story of freedom, achievements and her aspirations,” President Jonathan said at the ceremony.