An 18-storey Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) building in Lagos, which construction started 39 years ago, is soon to be eventually completed, with expectation of providing thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities to Nigerians.
This would also help curb social vices, according to the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NSITF, Dr. Kelly Nwagha, at the weekend while handing over documents/agreement to the contractor, Old English Consolidated Limited, for the completion of the building, during an inspection of the site in Lagos.
Nwagha said the structure, located along the international route linking Nigeria and the ECOWAS region, would be put to effective use for employees and employers all over the country upon completion.
The structure, according to him, will be one of the strongest and biggest structures sited in Lagos.
“People around here are sure of getting jobs, informal sector jobs. This project will create massive jobs for people around, which is part of the Federal Government’s plan to ensure jobs are created, social vices are reduced and insecurity is minimised,” he said.
Giving an insight into the project, he explained: “The project commenced as far back 1982. The reason for the project to be sited here was the Lagos State government’s intention to decongest the state and expand development towards the hinterland.
“During the period, the NSITF, known then as the National Providence Fund was given the allocation in a bid to assist the state government to develop not just the central area of Lagos State but also the outpace.
“The target is within the space of two to three months. The first phase of the work must have been concluded and then we move immediately to the second phase. I want to assure you that in no distant time, this project would be completed.
“It will also provide a lot of jobs to those within the community. This place when put into completion in the next couple of months will put an end to social vices within the community as most of the youths would be gainfully engaged. This is what the NSITF wants to do and we are assured of achieving it in good time.”
Explaining why work was delayed over the years, Nwagha said: “You know the economy has been unstable, and the project is a mega one with solid structures. The project is quite expensive and we do not want to cut down on quality. We want to be sure of adequate quality.
“That is why over the years, we have been trying to measure out how we will go about it. But now we are ready. We are taking it seriously and we are taking the bull by the horn.”
Nwagha, who was silent on the amount to be expended on the project, said the Fund would resolve amicably, issues bordering on those who had encroached on the building since it was abandoned.