ON assumption of office on November 11, 2015, as the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello met a staggering workforce of 28,000 and an administration immersed in humongous debts running into several billions of naira.
In addition, the new administration had to contend with low productivity among workers, flagrant abuse of due process, indiscipline, the burden of several abandoned projects and dilapidated infrastructure.
Rather than bemoan the situation he met on ground, Mallam Musa Bello took the challenges head-on and mapped out strategies to put the city back on track inline with the “change agenda” of President Muhammad Buhari administration.
Realising that good governance is at the centre of delivering quality services to the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, the minister ensured that the Secretariats, Departments and Agencies started complying with extant rules, adherence to due process and observance of public service code of conduct.
As a mark of his integrity and desire to help achieve result in the anti-corruption fight of the Buhari administration, the Honourable Minister encouraged the officers to publicity declare their assets, adhere to the policy of transparency and accountability, as well as the procurement processes.
Having established the basic principles on which his administration will operate towards serving the residents of the Federal Capital, the minster swung into action by addressing the challenges he met frontally. For instance, as a way of expanding and improving on the city infrastructure to cope with the increasing population, he decided to complete most of the abandoned and uncompleted projects.
Subsequently, the Minister deployed a significant amount of available resources to fund on-going infrastructural projects across the territory. Some of the projects include the 10-lane Airport (Umaru Musa Yar’dua) and Kubwa(Murtala Muhammad), express ways.
The minister also committed to the completion of full 12km Karshi-Apo-Arah road in order to decongest the Nyanya-Mararaba axis. This road will serve as an alternative route to access the city centre.
What is remarkable about the administrative style of Mallam Bello is his ability to work on all the sectors simultaneously for the benefit of the residents. As part of the measures to ease movement of goods and services in the territory, the minister has ensured that work on the Abuja rail mass transit system is uninterrupted, hence his payment of over N3Billion counterpart funds towards the completion of the project.
Already, thirteen railway bridges, fifty culverts, fifteen flyover bridges and nine pedestrian overpasses bridges have been completed in the federal capital territory.
Based on his prudent management of resources, Mallam Musa Bello has been described as living a Spartan life, and invariably has introduced it into his style of administration.Under his watch corruption is abhorrent in the management of affairs in the Federal Capital, yet it has been acknowledged that in the history of the Federal Capital, that the minister is one that upholds equity, justice and fairness in the manner he handles issues.
For example, in the case of sixty retirees of the Federal Capital Development Authority who were prematurely retired by the Mallam Nasir El-Rufai administration, the current minister has paid their gratuities, thereby giving them justice, and helping to cushion the impact of the economic recession on their families.
There is also a story out there that due to Mallam Bello’s legenday integrity and adherence to transparency in public office, he never panders to the demands or interests of close family members in a manner that will compromise the position he occupies.
This is a quality he shares in common with President Muhammadu Buhari who characteristically does not indulge his close relations, at the expense of the generality of the people.
His spartan approach to governance has impacted positively on the FCT’s administration as corruption among workers has greatly reduced. Similarly, his hard work and diligence has motivated the workers to be more dedicated and committed.
Mallam Mohammad Musa Bello has ensured that most of the abandoned projects in the territory are being completed, and the residents are the greatest beneficiaries as such projects will alleviate their plight in the area of traffic gridlock,and reduction of pressure on existing amenities.
The decision of his administration to strictly implement the Treasury Single Account by pooling all revenues in a common purse for easy monitoring has enabled the administration to finance many people- oriented projects, and Abuja residents are the ultimate beneficiaries.
Without mincing words, Mallam Bello has demonstrated that good governance is possible in the territory, and for the first time a selfless minister is in the saddle, and we are beginning to witness the promised “change”.
Mr. Chukwudi Enekwechi, a journalist, wrote from Abuja.