Nyesom Wike Bans Events at International Conference Centre for 8 Months: A Move Towards Facility Improvement

The minister expressed disappointment with the facility’s previous management

Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has suspended all scheduled activities at the International Conference Centre for eight months.

The International Conference Centre, located in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is a landmark venue that has hosted numerous high-profile events, conferences, and summits over the years. Its strategic location, state-of-the-art facilities, and capacity to accommodate large gatherings have made it a preferred choice for both national and international events.

However, despite its significance as a premier event venue, concerns have been raised about the maintenance and management of the ICC in recent times. Reports of infrastructural deficiencies, inadequate facilities, and logistical challenges have prompted calls for intervention to address these issues and restore the prestige of the facility.

Recall that Wike had previously revoked Messrs Integrated Facility Management Services Limited’s management contract and re-awarded it to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for immediate comprehensive renovation of the centre.

In a bold move aimed at addressing these concerns, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the FCT, has taken decisive action by suspending all scheduled activities at the International Conference Centre for a period of eight months. This decision reflects the minister’s commitment to revitalizing the facility and ensuring that it meets the highest standards of functionality, efficiency, and service delivery.

The minister expressed disappointment with the facility’s previous management, noting that it had been allowed to deteriorate.

He added that the project was handed over to the facility’s original designers, Messrs Julius Berger Limited, to renovate before being turned over to the management of the Abuja Investment Company Limited.

Wike’s decision to impose a temporary ban on events at the ICC underscores the need for comprehensive reforms to address the longstanding challenges facing the facility. By temporarily halting activities, the minister creates an opportunity to conduct a thorough assessment of the ICC’s infrastructure, operations, and management practices.

“We have gone round; you and I know it is unacceptable. No way can we accept this as an International Conference Centre. You can call it a conference centre, but not international. We cannot continue to be embarrassed in this way. So, we are sorry to announce that every booking meant to be used here is cancelled. We will start immediately rehabilitating this centre to meet international standards.

‘’We have called the original contractor that built this tower, Julius Berger, to come back, because bringing a new contractor would take us time. We believe that in the next seven to eight months, we will be able to do something that people will appreciate. And then that means the FCDA will now take over the rehabilitation with Julius Berger, and then hand it over to Abuja Investment Company,” he said.

The Minister also stated that he would not probe the previous contractor on their handling of the facility but warned that he would “wave the big stick” on the new Managing Director of the AICL if she fails to meet.

“I’m not here to probe anybody. I don’t want to begin to find excuses why the jobs are not being done well. The Managing Director of Abuja Investment Company knows what to do; mine is to give the country a befitting International Conference Centre. And if she does not do it well, we have no choice but to wield the big stick, but I believe she has the capacity to run it well,” Wike said.

Nyesom Wike’s decision to suspend events at the International Conference Centre for eight months represents a bold step towards addressing the challenges facing the facility and revitalizing its operations. By prioritizing infrastructure upgrades, management reforms, and quality assurance measures, the minister aims to restore the prestige and functionality of the ICC, positioning it as a premier event venue that meets the diverse needs of its stakeholders. As efforts to improve the facility unfold, stakeholders are encouraged to support the initiative and contribute to the realization of a world-class International Conference Centre that reflects the aspirations of the nation.

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