Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday commissioned the Sokoto State Conference Centre, praising developmental efforts of Gov Aminu Tambuwal.
Obasanjo was in Sokoto to attend a two-day Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum hosted by the state government.
The former president said Governor Tambuwal deserved commendation for his government’s commitment in making a huge investment for the development of the state.
He said: “There are many parts of the world where conference centres, the like of what we are seeing here, have become one of the sources of revenue, so why not us?
“When you have a conference centre of international standard like the one we are commissioning today, you will surely attract much development.
“Participants of national or international conference will not only be at the conference centre, but also go round the state, learning about the nature of the state as one of the world’s historic places.”
Governor Tambuwal called on the people vested with the responsibility of maintaining the Centre to do so with dedication and care, to maintain its purpose.
He said the project for the construction of the centre was awarded by the past administration in the state, but the contractor was not mobilised for the commencement.
Tambuwal said: “So it is the present administration that mobilised the contractor to the site; to start and complete the project for commissioning today.
“The contract was initially awarded at the cost of N428 million, but after commencement of work in 2015 we saw the need for a more elegant and result oriented conference facility.
“Hence the decision by the government to expand the scope of the project which includes 740 metres access road and a car parking area.
“This also includes galleries, children’s play area, computerization of the cyber café and expansion of the auditorium to accommodate 1200 delegates at a time, which increased the cost to N705 million.”
Earlier, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, thanked Obasanjo for coming to the state to attend the forum and commissioning of the centre.
Abubakar said that the centre would attract more events to the state as well as the northwest region.
He further suggested the establishment of hotels closer to the centre, to ease accommodation of participants during national or international events.