The existing City Gate for Abuja, Nigerias Federal Capital City was erected as a temporary edifice in the wake of movement of the seat of Federal Government from Lagos to Abuja in 1991, to serve the purpose of a ceremonial pavilion, and to also symbolize the ceremonial entrance of the then Federal Government Administration, at the then City limits.
The conception of the gate also precluded the symbolism of conveying cultural heritage of the Nigerian Nation, or depicting Abuja as a centre of unity as envisioned by the founding fathers, all of which was not portrayed from the design and outlook. Relocation of the City Gate to a more appropriate and permanent location was to be given due consideration whenever it became auspicious to do so.
The aim of this project is to construct a new City Gate at a site 24.7 Km from the present City Gate. In meeting the project?s functional requirements of city beautification, tourism enhancement, development of culture, with boundary and territorial demarcation, the inherent design challenge is to create a unique symbol of the Federal Capital that would be a landmark of international recognition.
The project seeks to provide an appropriate city monument for the Capital City of Abuja. It would thus incorporate an observatory tower, and among other requirements, accommodate a ceremonial arcade for executive/ protocol functions, a central square with provision for controlled/ light commercial activities, recreational/ picnic spots, and an artificial lake. Development is expected to proceed in phases over time in line with a strategic implementation schedule.
An international architectural design competition will take place in order to select the most outstanding concept for this unique project for which this is a call for candidature. The competition is organized by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Federal Capital Territory, and Abuja.
It is a two stage architectural design competition that begins with an Expression of Interest, following which qualified architects would participate in an anonymous design competition.
As there were plans for the gate to be replaced by another gate which would be built some 25 km (16 mi) from the present location, these plans are put on a hold for indefinite time, even though some measures have been taken for the other gate to be built. Still, the idea behind the Abuja City Gate is to present it as a sign of the unity of the Nigerian people, together with improvement of the sightseeing for the Abuja’s visitors, city’s beautification etc.
The structure has two inverted arched steel-concrete blocks on each side that are connected in the middle with a long steel-concrete block which is blended with the two tower blocks. On that middle block is presented the Coat of Arms of Nigeria and also it is written YOU ARE WELCOME too, since the Government wanted to welcome everyone in the new capital.
Above this, there is the metal-made waved Nigerian flag which is fixed with steel lines.