The House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory has urged the Minister, Nyesom Wike, to prioritise the security of lives and property in the nation’s capital.
This is just as the Committee called on him to channel his energy, experience, and network into enhancing revenue generation to support the infrastructural development of the FCT.
Muktar Betara, the Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, made these recommendations during the inaugural meeting of the panel in Abuja.
While urging members to dedicate their time and energy to the realisation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, the lawmaker noted that the committee could not afford to fail FCT natives and residents in the task entrusted to them.
He listed the oversight role of the committee to cover the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and its agencies including the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS); the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA); Abuja Metropolitan Management Authority; Abuja Investment Company Ltd; FCT Mass Housing Department; FCT Pension Board, among others.
He also added planning and development of the FCT, secondary and tertiary education, public transport system and annual budget estimate of the FCTA as part of the Committee’s oversight responsibilities.
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 take a cue from Vehicle Inspection Officers who before the expiration of vehicular particulars often send notifications to car owners for renewal.
For those who own undeveloped landed property, Batera urged them to quickly pay ground rent without delay.
Also speaking, a member of the Committee and lawmaker representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency,Niger State, Saidu Abdullahi said a lot of work must be done to return the past glory of the nation’s capital.
“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 left much to be desired.
AIC couldn’t even mobilize resources to build a market in Abuja. The Committee is ready to work with you and together, we can make Abuja rise again.
Making a case for the less privileged members of the society, member representing Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency, Regina Akume pleaded with the FCTA to slow down on the demolition of illegal structures within the city, saying,
“With the removal of subsidy, 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.”
Responding on behalf of Wike, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of FCT, Adesola Olusade thanked the Committee for their commitment to assist in the development of the Capital Territory.
He also enjoined them to work assiduously on 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.”