The promise made by the present Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to Nigerians and indeed, FCT residents upon inception has largely been accomplished. The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, made this disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, March 15, 2018 when a delegation from the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement paid him a working visit.
The Minister recalled that he had told Nigerians that the Administration would be concentrating on the completion of critical infrastructure and public utility projects. He announced to the delight of members that by 2018 most of these projects would exit the budget.
He said evidence of this could be gleaned from the major arterial roads into the city that have been completed as well some of the major secondary roads traversing major sections of the city.
Malam Bello noted that one project that has been at the heart of many residents has been the Abuja Light Project which he announced has been significantly completed. He said the Administration has commenced the process of procuring the main rolling stock.
According to the Minister, “The tracks have been done. 12 stations along the track have been completed. We have started procurement of the rolling stock, the wagons and so on. We now have a set of rolling stock that is enough for us to start what we call trial phase where our Nigerian engineers and staff and coach drivers will work together with the Chinese contractors for a number of months before the real rolling stocks arrive.”
Malam Bello further stated that the Administration is considering the option of opening up new districts in the territory to ease pressure on the city, stressing that the embargo that was placed on land allocation in the last two years was done to clear up issues of double allocation as well as allocation without consideration for infrastructure that his administration inherited.
He stated, “We are working to open up new phases with a view to decongesting the city. We have not done any land allocation within the last two years because we set up a committee trying to redress so many of the issues that we inherited and also areas where allocations were done without any plan whatsoever for infrastructure, either in the short term, medium term or even in the long term. But we have been able to cover all that now” the Minister stated.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman, House committee on Procurement, Hon. Oluwole Oke commended the Minister for his forthrightness, saying the country would be a lot better if had other Ministers with similar attributes as Muhammad Bello.
“Let me commend the Honourable Minister. I feel highly honoured and I want to say that if every Minister behaves the way you behave, I think this country will be a better place. I’ve met your colleagues and other senior members of this government and if there is any Minister, a lieutenant of Mr. President that is upright, that is truthful, it’s the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.
Hon. Oke further explained that The House of Representatives in 2003 created the House Committee on Public Procurement and saddled it with responsibilities to manage, oversight implementation of the procurement Act, to track and manage implementation of capital budget as well as to receive and listen to petitions from members of the public and organized private sector and civil organizations.
He said the Committee was on a visit to look at compliance with the status of FCTA’s Procurement Act and to review its records. "This exercise is more of education. We are not out to witch-hunt, harass or intimidate anybody. More so, it is you who gave us your mandate to represent you in the parliament and the constitution says clearly that we should make law for your welfare and security. We will not turn around to bite the fingers that have fed us. Rather, we want to strengthen our democratic practices and ensure that our laws are upheld,” he explained.
Chief Press Secretary
to FCT Minister