Rep. Betara assured that the Committee will support the Minister to generate more revenue for the development of infrastructure in the FCT.
The House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) tasked the Minister, Nyesom Wike to commit to improving revenue generation in the FCT to fund the infrastructural deficit in the city.
It also urged the Minister to prioritise the security of the lives and property of persons residing in the nation’s capital.
The call was made by the chairman, House Committee on FCT, Rep. Muktar Betara (APC, Borno) at the inaugural meeting of the committee on Wednesday.
Betara also urged members of the committee to dedicate their time and energy to the realisation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, adding that the Committee could not afford to fail FCT natives and residents in the task entrusted to them.
He further emphasised the need for thorough checks and balances in its 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 and Abuja Investment Company Ltd.
The committee will also oversight the FCT Mass Housing Department; FCT Pension Board in addition to planning and development of FCT, secondary and tertiary education, public transport system and annual budget estimate of the FCTA are part of the Committee’s oversight responsibilities.
He said “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.”
The lawmaker also urged the FCT authorities to take a cue from Vehicle Inspection Officers who before the expiration of vehicular particulars often send notifications to car owners for renewal even as he urged owners of undeveloped landed properties to ensure prompt payment of ground rent without delay.
Also speaking, a member of the House Committee, Rep. Saidu Abdullahi (APC, Niger) noted that 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 left much to be desired.
“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.”
On her part, Rep. Regina Akume (APC, Benue) 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 slow down.”
Responding, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of FCT, Adesola Olusade, who represented the Minister commended 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 the House concerning the development and decongestion of the city capital.
On Akume’s plea, he said “It is a motherly advice and we thank you. But some of these shanties have become dens of drugs and criminals. The ills and dangers of these shanties far outweigh the benefits.”