Senator Ahmad Moallayidi Abubakar

Tracereporters –Senator Ahmad Abubakar MoAllahyidi is the Managing Director (MD) of Integrated Facility Management Services Limited, managers of the International Conference Centre (ICC), one of the…

Senator Ahmad Abubakar MoAllahyidi is the Managing Director (MD) of Integrated Facility Management Services Limited, managers of the International Conference Centre (ICC), one of the iconic properties in Abuja. In this interview, he explains the scenario that led to the termination of the company’s contract by the Minister of the FCT and why the president should intervene.

Q. Walk us through some issues that resulted in the termination of your company’s contract by the FCT minister?

On April 4, Mr Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the FCT, attended the inauguration of the ECOWAS Parliament. Apparently, there was a challenge with the air conditioning system. The place was hot and he got angry and the next thing he did was to terminate the appointment of the GMD of the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) and also revoked the contract of the managers of the ICC.

Note that the minister was not even at the ICC at first; he was at the ECOWAS Parliament. They rented ICC for the inauguration because of their faulty air conditioners. The arrangement was to do the accreditation and other activities at the ECOWAS Parliament and then the major event at the ICC because there is a gate linking both buildings. I tried to explain to him but he refused to listen. In the evening he announced the appointment of a new GMD for AICL and also asked Julius Berger to take over the rehabilitation of ICC.

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As far as my company is concerned, there was nothing wrong with the ICC. The president was there at the inauguration. Nobody complained about anything, and the air conditioners were working, except for him that was at the wrong facility at that time. He took a decision and cancelled all the events.

In this place there are a lot of third-party contracts; we have contracts even from abroad.

Q. How are you handling clients that have already booked the facility, especially foreigners?

The ICC has been booked till December, 2024. We told them that they have to exercise patience because there were a lot of events booked that cannot take place anywhere apart from the ICC. However, some clients were able to reach the government; like the air force that has its 60th anniversary coming soon; where a lot of countries are coming for the event, and they got a window to go ahead and host their anniversary at the ICC.

Aside from the air force, there are a lot of other international events, including for UN, AU, WHO, oil and gas in July, including the African Mining Meek that is going to take place.

Q.From April 4, to date how much has been lost in terms of money as a result of the closure of ICC?</strong>

There are a lot of events and other side activities happening there weekly, and from the line up, we have lost nothing less than N200m.

If he (minister) wants to do something, then I believe he should take a tour. He has never gone there to inspect. Even when we invited him to come, he refused to allow us to follow him.

Q. Another issue is the fact that Julius Berger has accessed the property and your company is not allowed any access. Did you table that issue to the minister as well?

We did that several times. We have been asking questions as to why he will terminate appointments without following the legal process. Although he has the power to do so, there are laid down conditions, laws and procedures for termination. We had been there for almost 20 years. You can’t lock a place today and ask everyone to pack out immediately. Julius Berger too has been stopped because the events booked have to take place.

Q. After exhausting all discussions and the minister is still adamant; what will be the next step?</strong>

Mr Wike is not the ultimate in this whole affair. We have already taken the matter to court, because as far as we are concerned, there is rule of law in this country. We are in a democratic setting and one person cannot just sit down and decide the fate of over 200 staff working there. Some people have been working there for almost 20 years.

I think the court is going to give us a date for hearing within the week. We have a 10-year contract to manage ICC, and we are just in the third year.

Q. What is your appeal to President Bola Tinubu?

Our appeal is very clear; we want rule of law and justice. I believe you cannot just come down and throw people out of where they are working without any reason, without communicating to anybody what is even our offence.

Therefore, I appeal to Mr President to allow us to go back and work it out orderly, hand over the facility and then we conclude amicably, because there are events lined up there already till the end of the year.

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