The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said the present Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has largely accomplished promises made to Nigerians and indeed, FCT residents, when it came on board.
Bello made this known when a delegation of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement visited him on Thursday in Abuja.
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 the members that by 2018 most of these projects would exit the budget.
The minister said evidence of this could be gleaned from the major arterial roads into the city that had been completed and some of the major secondary roads traversing major sections of Abuja.
Bello noted that one project that had been at the heart of many residents was the Abuja Light Rail Project, which had been significantly completed.
He said the administration had 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.
“This is where our Nigerian engineers, staff and coach drivers will work together with the Chinese contractors for a number of months before the real rolling stocks will arrive,’’ he said.
Bello said the administration was considering the option of opening up new districts in the territory to ease pressure on the city.
He explained that the embargo placed on land allocation in the last two years was to clear up issues of double allocation as well as allocation without consideration for infrastructure.
“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.
“The FCTA wants to address the issue where allocations were done without any plan whatsoever for infrastructure, either in the short term, medium term or even in the long term,’’ he said.
Bello confirmed that the FCT administration was able to cover all the issues now.
Earlier, Chairman, House committee on Procurement, Oluwole Oke commended the minister for his forthrightness.
Oke said that the House of Representatives in 2003 created the House Committee on Public Procurement and saddled it with responsibilities to manage, and for oversight implementation of the procurement Act.
According to him, it is also to track and manage implementation of capital budget, to receive and listen to petitions from members of the public and organised private sector and civil organisations.
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.
“We want to strengthen our democratic practices and ensure that our laws are upheld,” he said