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World Trade Centre opens in Abuja in 2016



The Abuja World Trade Centre (WTC) complex, which has been under construction since 2010, is set for a grand opening early in 2016 with hopes of an economic boost for the nation.

The trade centre worth about N200 billion is funded by local and foreign financial institutions, as well as private investors and would-be the will be the largest mixed-use development in West Africa.

The business edifice will join a network of 323 locations in 89 countries, which started in 1970 with the inauguration of the first World Trade Centre in New York City.

Speaking to CNN, Vinay Mahtani, chief executive officer of the site’s developer, Lagos-based Churchgate Group, said the centre was to improve business relations between Nigeria and the rest of the world.

“One of the missions of WTC Abuja is to improve trade relations between Nigeria and the rest of the world,” he said.

“For example, it will enable international businesses to make investments in our community. Ties will be forged between government agencies, non-governmental organizations and international corporations, and the additional business that is captured within the walls of the World Trade Centre will provide tax revenues to government which can be used to improve the welfare of the people.”

The buildings, at 24 storeys each, are set to define the capital’s skyline: the commercial tower is the tallest office building in Abuja, while the residential tower is the tallest residential building in Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that Abuja and Lagos will benefit tremendously from high end ‎commercial and residential real estates,” Adekunle Salau, Ernst & Young Advisory Leader ‎for West Africa, told CNN.

“My expectation is that if this is executed to plan, Abuja will be able to host world class conferences and compete favourably with Johannesburg and Cape Town for international events.

“The downside is that it can also be artificially priced, thereby continuing to heat up the already-high cost of Abuja properties and secondly, the amenities ‎may not be developed to the quality expected from the WTA brand.”

Future phases include the construction of a shopping mall and a 37-storey hotel, which will be among the tallest skyscrapers on the continent.