By Favour Nnabugwu
Disturbed by the shortage of residential accommodation in Abuja and its suburbs as well as the attendant high rents charged on the houses, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT says it is poised to development satellite towns in the capital.
Minister of State, FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide who disclosed this weekend, said that the FCT Administration would scrap the Department of Satellite Towns Development, DSTI and revert to the defunct Satellite Towns Development Agency, STDA. This measure is to ensure holistic development of the satellite towns. Akinjide said that it was the desire of the FCT Administration to make Abuja a destination of choice for Nigerians.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has given permission for us to focus on satellite towns development. We are going to pull out the satellite towns department and make it a full fledged agency that it was originally supposed to be so that we will have the FCDA focusing on the Federal capital city and the STD Authority focusing on the satellite towns. It will not be business as usual when we have an agency that will be responsible for the infrastructure, economic development, repair and maintenance of the satellite towns,” she said.
According to her, “STDA will be supervised by the Minister of State, FCT while the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, will be supervised by the FCT Minister to give it (STDA) a louder voice and focus.”
The FCT Minister noted that Satellite towns such as Kubwa, Bwari, Karshi, Rubochi, Nyanya among others, would be provided with the same level of infrastructure such as water, roads, schools, sewage system and street lighting that the city has.
Decrying the traffic situation on the entry routes into the city centre, Akinjide said: “The vision is clear and plain; if we do not develop the Territory as a whole, the project in the Federal Capital City itself will fail. Definitely we cannot have just dormitory towns where people sleep, wake up and head into the city. We want to have towns surrounding the city that are destinations in themselves where people live, rest, play and work.”
In another development, Akinjide stated that FCT would soon begin to charge Abuja houses for the disposal of their refuse. This is in line with the recently established Clean and Green Project (CGP). She however urged CGP not only to sustain cleaning of the environment, but also educate Nigerians on cleanliness. She regretted that “ as we are cleaning the dirt, overnight, people come and dump more garbage.”
The FCT Administration, she said, is planning a joint development zone, comprising of the six contiguous states of Nassarawa, Kogi, Niger, Kaduna and others that will drive even economic development of the region.