The Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello says that this Administration will be fair in allocating plots earmarked for religious worship centers in the Abuja Master Plan.
The Minister stated this while receiving a delegation of the Catholic Community in Abuja, led by the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan.
Bello said that the Abuja Master Plan makes provision for the need of every sector of society, reiterating that the Administration would make sure that plots that belong to worship centers are equitably allocated amongst all religious faiths, in tune with the Change Agenda of the Federal Government.
“Despite the huge demands for land in the FCT, the Administration will try as much as possible to ensure that plots meant for religious organizations are left for that purpose so that everybody is given a sense of belonging in the Territory.
The Planners of Abuja have made plots available for religious bodies in all of the districts in the Federal Capital City and the current FCT Administration intends to implement its land allocation policy based on this plan”, he emphasized.
According to him, “I think this is standard practice. For every district, there are religious plots that cater for all the faiths. Ordinarily, fairness should be adopted in this kind of issues. You may find some people complaining over the years, if there has not been fairness.”
He also said that there was now a deliberate policy by the current FCT Administration, not to allocate new plots of land either now or in the near future, until such areas or districts were clearly provided with the best compliments of infrastructure.
The Minister said that the policy was not aimed at stifling development, but to ensure development, by providing for the best possible infrastructure before allocations are made, so that issues like land speculation or double allocation are discouraged.
He added that, lands that are in compensation for wrongs done or maybe as part of amicable resolutions to disputes would be exempted from the arrangement, stressing that the FCT Administration would give priority to these exceptions.
He called on the religious bodies and other residents of the FCT to embrace out-of-court settlement of land-related disputes, to reduce the time expended in seeking resolutions in the courts, which he said, retards development of the FCT.
Speaking earlier, the leader of delegation, John Cardinal Onaiyekan thanked the Minister for encouraging the inter-religious seminar that afforded religious leaders in the Federal Capital Territory to rub minds.