We’ve resolved over500 land cases –Bello
….Says FCTA determined to complete all ongoing projects
By Wisdom Acka
Explaining why his administration has not made allocations since inception, barely two years ago, FCT Minister Muhammad Musa Bello revealed that he had to resolve about 500 pending land issues, even as he wondered why past governments could buckle under pressure to engage in multiple allocations that would end in series of litigations and hence be detrimental to the image and economy of the FCT Administration.
Malam Bello stated this last week during a media briefing organized as part of events lined up to commemorate two years in office of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“In the past, you saw up to four or five people contesting for one piece of land! How did that happen? The FCT Administration has resolved more than 500 land cases”.
According to Bello, past FCT Administrations fell under intense pressure, which he is also facind, in order to allocate land, making them fall into the trap of multiple allocations, and even some without layouts.
He said: “I have been under tremendous pressure to allocate land but because of the mistakes of the past, whereby land allocated to A was also allocated to B and so on,” his government has withstood huge pressure in similar direction, but was however considering land allocation where there were layouts.
Bello also said that the FCTA has been able to dislodge a land racketeering group which used to operate in Area 11, near the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) head office.
Malam Bello seized the opportunity to give a general score card of his nearly two-year Administration, emphatically stating that his priority was to complete on-going projects because even at 95 percent, if the remaining five percent is not there, such a project would be of any use to the people for which it is meant.
The Minister disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently gave approval of $470 million for the execution of the Greater Abuja Water project, adding that the Karshi water works would soon
Human Resource Development
Bello disclosed that so far, his Administration has trained over 12,000 staff in an ongoing training exercise which is expected to focus on three areas including effective service delivery, discipline and prudent resource management, and is expected to benefit the entire workforce of the FCTA.
He also stated that the Administration ensured that senior staffs who had remained on same job for many years, were given the opportunity to experience other areas of the government too, because they could be head one day and require such experiences to deliver effectively.
Abuja Light Rail
At 93 percent completion, the Minister disclosed that process for the procurement of coaches for the rail was fast going, as well as installation of signaling equipments which he said almost completed.
Adding that test-running of the rail was expected end of this year. Bello said rail transportation would commence in the FCT early next year, 2018, even as he added that approval for the extension of the rail line to Kubwa and Wuse had just been given.
Strengthening Institutional Framework
According to the Minister, institutional framework for the FCTA has been strengthened, not only to ensure effective service delivery, but to also maintain institutional memory.
He explains that he deliberately allowed the bureaucracy to work so that the management staffs were no more reliant on the mentality of having to wait for directives on everything action from a minister; a move he decried erases institutional memory whenever any minister leaves with his or her team of political appointees.
“We decided to strengthen the bureaucracy by allowing the civil servants to work…because the system became so weak as the Minister had to direct on everything, and when ministers come with their political appointees and are gone, there is no institutional memory. That is why we spent a lot of resources training staff”.
On traffic light and facility maintenance within the city, Malam Bello appealed to the residents to stop canalization, saying that it was a major hindrance to ensuring bright city at nights as well as 24-hour functional traffic lights across the city.
He therefore tasked the media to help in sensitizing the public, adding that government alone could not do everything.
While appealing for patience and cooperation of the people, Bello pledged: “we have to make Abuja bright at night, not just for aesthetics, but also for security purposes”.
“I personally thought that by now, this road would have been completed. But we are working on it seriously, and by the grace of God, it will be done”.
He added that the road which was meant to terminate in the bush has been extended to terminate at Wasa.
On the removal of shanties within the city, Bello assured the residents that his Administration would not demolish anyhow, saying that he would rather prefer the global best practice of upgrading and integration, where infrastructures would be put in place for the people.
In another development, the FCT Minister disclosed that the Administration’s Television, the AsoRTV would soon be on air as all monies owed had been cleared and need equipments procured for its take off.
The event which took place at the FCDA conference hall was also attended by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Dr, Babatope Ajakaiye, Acting Secretaries, Directors and Heads of Agencies.