House Committee Tasks FCT Minister To Prioritize Security, Revenue Generation

By Gloria Essien, Abuja 

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The House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory has called on the FCT Minister, Mr. Nyesom Wike to pay attention to the security of lives and property in the nation’s capital.

The Committee also urged the minister to commit his energy, experience and network to improve on revenue generation to fund the infrastructural development of the FCT.

The Chairman, House Committee on FCT, Hon Muktar Betara gave the charge in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the committee.

He listed the oversight role of the committee to cover the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and its agencies including the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS); the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA); Abuja Metropolitan Management Authority; Abuja Investment Company Ltd; FCT Mass Housing Department; FCT Pension Board, among others.

He also added planning and development of FCT, secondary and tertiary education, public transport system and annual budget estimate of the FCTA as part of the Committee’s oversight responsibilities.

“Abuja is losing revenue but this Committee will support the Minister to ensure that he gets more revenue for the development of infrastructure in the FCT.

 “The Minister has assured us that he will make Abuja work and generate more revenue. Most of the estates in Abuja don’t have title documents but the Minister has promised to look into this. With the right commitment, documents can be concluded within 14 days,” Hon Betara said.

The lawmaker urged the FCT authorities to take a clue from Vehicle Inspection Officers who before the expiration of vehicular particulars often send notifications to car owners for renewal.

For those who owned undeveloped landed property, Batera urged them to quickly do and pay ground rent without delay.

Also speaking, a member of the Committee and lawmaker representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency in Niger State, Saidu Abdullahi said a lot of work must be done to return the past glory of the nation’s capital.

“The potential of FCT shows that there is still much to be done. I worked closely with the Abuja Investment Company (AIC) and we saw in the 9th Assembly… AIC couldn’t even mobilize resources to build a market in Abuja. The Committee is ready to work with you and together, we can make Abuja rise again.”

Making a case for the less privileged members of the society, member representing Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency, Regina Akume pleaded with the FCTA to slow down on the demolition of illegal structures within the city, saying, “With the removal of subsidy, people are in pain. They don’t have food to eat. The demolition going on is something we need to look at. This demolition should either be stopped or slowed down.”

While urging members to dedicate their time and energy to the realization of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, Hon Betara added that the Committee could not afford to fail FCT natives and residents in the task entrusted on them.

Responding on behalf of Wike, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of FCT, Adesola Olusade thanked the Committee for their commitment to assist in the development of the Capital Territory.

He also enjoined them to work assiduously on bills pending before them concerning the development and decongestion of the city capital.

He added that some of the demolition ongoing were to sanitize the FCT.