National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) President Paul Tergat has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help his team rescue Nock’s planned headquarters from being auctioned.
Tergat has asked the President to step in and save Nock from losing Nock Plaza through a public auction by Sidian Bank on April 5. The bank is seeking to auction the building in Nairobi, whose construction stalled almost three years ago, to recover a loan of Sh400 million it advanced to Nock.
“This is a public property that will help sports federations in Kenya and it will be a tragedy if we lose it cheaply,” said Tergat on Tuesday.
“We have reached a point where only President Uhuru Kenyatta can help rescue the project by helping offset the loan, and funding its completion.”
“We have approached several banks to take up the loan and several other organisations which fund projects but we have not been successful,” said Tergat.
The building, which Nock intended to use as its headquarters, is located in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
Sidian Bank was the main financier of the project, having put in Sh400 million as the first instalment of a planned Sh800 million loan package. Nock took the loan from Sidian Bank in 2012, and construction of the building started the same year, only to stall in 2016.
According to an advertisement published in Daily Nation on Monday, Nock Plaza will be sold by public auction on April 5. It had been estimated that the construction of the building would cost an estimated Sh1.2 billion, with Sidian Bank being the main financier through a Sh800 million loan facility. Nock was to provide the remaining Sh400 million.
Tergat said that his team that took over at Nock 15 months ago, has laboured in vain to rescue the project that stalled three years ago.
When complete, the building is meant to host an Olympics Museum, offices for Nock’s affiliates and those of the Ministry of Sports.