The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has been advised by the House of Representatives Committee on the FCT to put the safety and well-being of the people in the capital city first.
The Committee also urged him to use his skills, connections, and energy to boost revenue generation for the FCT, which would help in improving the infrastructure.
The Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Muktar Betara, gave these suggestions during the first meeting of the group in Abuja.
He asked the members to work hard and support the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu and said that the committee had a responsibility to the natives and residents of the FCT.
He said that the committee would oversee the activities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and its agencies, such as the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS), the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), the Abuja Metropolitan Management Authority, Abuja Investment Company Ltd., the FCT Mass Housing Department, the FCT Pension Board, and others.
He also mentioned that the committee would be in charge of the planning and development of the FCT, secondary and tertiary education, the public transport system, and the annual budget estimate of the FCTA.
He said, “Abuja is losing revenue, but this Committee will support the Minister to ensure that he gets more revenue for the development of infrastructure in the FCT.
“The Minister has assured us that he will make Abuja work and generate more revenue. Most of the estates in Abuja don’t have title documents, but the minister has promised to look into this. With the right commitment, documents can be concluded within 14 days.”
The lawmaker urged the FCT authorities to follow the example of Vehicle Inspection Officers, who send reminders to car owners for renewal of their vehicle particulars before they expire.
He also advised those who own undeveloped land to pay their ground rent promptly.
Another member of the committee and representative of Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency, Nigeria, Saidu Abdullahi, said that there was a lot of work to be done to restore the glory of the capital city.
“The potential of FCT shows that there is still much to be done. I worked closely with the Abuja Investment Company (AIC), and we saw in the 9th Assembly that much was left to be desired.
AIC couldn’t even mobilise resources to build a market in Abuja. The committee is ready to work with you, and together, we can make Abuja rise again.
Speaking on behalf of the less privileged, Regina Akume, who represents Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency, appealed to the FCTA to stop or reduce the demolition of illegal structures in the city, saying,
“With the removal of subsidies, people are in pain. They don’t have food to eat. The demolition going on is something we need to look at. This demolition should either be stopped or slowed down.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of FCT, Adesola Olusade, who spoke for Wike, thanked the Committee for their commitment to assist in the development of the Capital Territory.
He also asked them to work diligently on the bills pending before them concerning the development and decongestion of the city capital.
On Mrs. Akume’s plea, he said, “It is motherly advice, and we thank you. But some of these shanties have become dens of drugs and criminals. The ills and dangers of these shanties far outweigh the benefits.