MARCH 01 – A multi-purpose plaza owned by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) will leave the drawing board, where it has been for years, and take a step forward to reality: the foundation stone-laying ceremony will be done.
The project site is located in the Guzape District of Abuja. When completed, the multi-storey edifice which sits on an expansive 5,600sqm piece of land.
The president of the Guild, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said part of the proposed Editors’ Plaza in Abuja would serve as the Guild’s secretariat in Abuja while the rest would be leased to the public as offices.
Former governor of Akwa Ibom State and now senator Godswill Akpabio, who is also the Senate minority leader, will chair the event while foremost industrialist and chairman of BUA Group Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu will perform the traditional “turning of the sod” to herald the construction of a befitting plaza for Nigerian editors in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, and his information and culture counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, are expected to grace the occasion.
Other dignitaries expected at the event are governors, heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), members of corporate Nigeria, the business community, media executives, among others.
The journey of the proposed Editors’ Plaza started on April 10, 2014, with a fundraiser in Abuja under the leadership of the then president of the Guild, Mr Femi Adesina, now special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari. The goal was to raise funds to build a befitting secretariat for the Guild in Abuja to be named Editors Plaza.
In its over 55 years of existence, the Guild does not have a secretariat of its own.
Part of the money realized from the fundraiser has been used to acquire a property in Ikeja area of Lagos State christened “Editors’ House” which functions as the Guild’s secretariat in Lagos.
According to Egbemode, the construction of the Editors’ Plaza offers friends of the Guild, individuals and corporates, and all advocates and lovers of free press an opportunity to partner with Nigerian editors whom she described as the torchbearers of the nation’s democracy and bulwark against tyranny.