The Federal Capital Territory Administration has commended the management of the National Defence College for working assiduously towards completing the permanent site of the college at Piwoyi, Abuja.
The FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello gave the commendation in Abuja Thursday, when the management of the National Defence College paid him a courtesy call.
The FCT Minister, while welcoming efforts by the National Defence College to move to its permanent site, said the FCT Administration will do whatever is necessary to ensure that they are able to move as quickly as possible to a more comfortable location, adding that a number of national and multilateral agencies are waiting to take over their existing location.
Malam Bello said the Administration is working towards addressing the infrastructural challenges around the area in Piwoyi, pointing out that part of the plan is to open up that area through the relevant arterial roads that are in the Abuja Master Plan.
“As you can see the legislative college is almost done. If you notice, you will see that the Korean Model School also is almost done. A lot of developments are going on around the area,” he said.
The Minister who frowned at the rapid expansion of illegal settlements around the area, said steps are being taken to discourage the negative trend.
“The villages that you see springing up there are all illegal and if we all agree that they are illegal, then it’s better for us so that we treat them as such. Normally, it’s the construction and the activity in your permanent site and all the other major institutions that are coming up there that are attracting these people.
“If we all keep quiet and we don’t do anything, they will continue to grow. But they are really not supposed to be there and they are usually people that work in your site or work for some of the other construction sites there”.
Bello while assuring that the water problem being experienced at the Ushafa camp of the College is being addressed, said the technical team of the FCT Water Board is identifying how it can re-pipe water down from the tank in Bwari town into Ushafa.
While responding to request by the team for a piece of land to build a housing estate for its staff, the Minister advised government institutions and other private organizations seeking land for mass housing in the FCT to take advantage of the empty estates that are littered across the city and negotiate with finance houses for a suitable long term financing agreement.
He said it would be futile for these organizations to continue to apply and wait for land for mass housing in the already developed phases of the territory, where land allocations have fully exhausted.
Bello while reiterating that the template of everybody getting land and starting a cooperative housing estate is no longer feasible in the FCT, said interested parties should identify reasonably priced houses and go into agreement with a financial institution to work out a long term financing model that should be able to meet up with their requirements.
According to the Minister, “The reality is that getting land where infrastructure is developed partially or about to be developed is going to be increasingly difficult. “Land is no longer available in phase 1, phase 2, phase 3, and even in some parts of phase 4 of Abuja. We are now planning phase five. But then we sat down and reflected and we said if you keep on opening phases and you don’t provide infrastructure, at the end of the day, you just have pockets of slums all over the city. That’s why as an administration, we are not keen on giving land because we are not sure of when infrastructure is going to be there.”
Bello however disclosed that the FCT Administration is reviewing land allocations it made to government institutions and other developers in the territory for mass housing purposes, adding that it might be forced to revoke some of these plots and reallocate to more serious contenders in the areas where no appreciable development have been.
Earlier in his remark, the Commandant of the National Defence College Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo said the team was on a familiarity visit to the Minister to explain what they have been doing and also raise issues for the attention of the FCT Minister.
"As our landlord, we have continued to enjoy your support and we are very grateful, particularly the relationship between the Administration and the College. The College has continued to grow in strength and in terms of the scope of our activities.
"We have benefiting from all the good things the territory has offered us, particularly the physical properties we have, the permanent site is somewhere in Piwoyi and we hope in the coming years, we will relocate there fully," he said
Special Assistant (Media) to FCT Minister
Thursday 21 September, 2017