Five years ago, I wrote about the white elephant project in Abuja called Millennium Tower recently commissioned by the Nigerian government at the cost of 53 billion Naira (about $450 million). I was miffed by the fact that this towering glass structure was being built in the name of "culture," when the Nigerian government has shamelessly ignored art and culture institutions--museums, galleries, music halls, and theatres--in its original and revised masterplans of the Nigerian Federal Capital city. Construction is still ongoing, and is expected to be completed in 2014. But just as with such projects in Nigeria, the construction cost of the Tower miraculously ballooned to more than 69 billion Naira, to the consternation even of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory. In any case, even if the Tower were completed tomorrow, the glare from its fancy glass walls will not blind anyone still looking for respectable houses of culture in Nigeria's capital city.
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