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Senate Threatens to Sanction FCT Area Councils Over Inflated Construction Cost

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

Senate has frowned at  “high cost of construction” in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT just as it  charged all secretariats, departments and agencies, SDAs in the FCT Administration to double the current internally generated revenue, IGR by June 2016.

This was even as it  directed  the six Area Council Chairmen in the territory, to wake up to their responsibility of expected good governance at the grassroots and summoning them to appear before it next week Tuesday.

Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West) made the submissions on behalf of the Senate  at a meeting with the FCT Minister, Alhaji Muhamnad Bello, chairmen of Area Councils and other stakeholders in the Territory.

He said, “These exploitative practices by both government and construction firms have pervaded the construction industry and fuelled the high cost of construction in the FCT.

“The committee noted that construction companies handling these projects have attributed the high cost to irregular and selective payment for jobs done by the FCT Administration despite the high interest rates and other liabilities incurred by these companies”.

Senator Melaye, who said the meeting was meant to effect a change and turn a new leaf in the way government is being administered in Nigeria and also to make the FCT better, promised that the senate would enhance beauty and status of the Territory.

According to him, the FCT transport sector is In a serious state of disarray. It is embroiled with uncertainties both in the land and rail transportation sectors”.

“The railway sector is being transformed gradually into a serious conduit pipe where billions of naira is being allocated annually without visible appreciable developments on ground”.

The committee, he said, has noted the unparallel growth between the supply of infrastructural facilities and the incessant influx of people into the Territory, and stressed the need to dedicate over 70 per cent of the 2016 FCT budget to desired infrastructure and amenities.

He lamented that the Territory had slid into environmental embarrassment due to the heaps of garbage, overgrown bushes, erection of tenets and shanties, and abandoned vehicles, among others, which he feared could be a safe place for storage of explosives.

Senator Melaye accused the FCT Administration of failing to address the problem of waste disposal, cattle rearing in the city centre, and the return of commercial motorcyclists.

He also noted that the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB created to securing the quality of health and well-being of the residents and maximise the impact of physical development on the ecosystem of the Territory, had been neglected over the years.

He  therefore, urged the Minister of FCT, to ensure the removal of all erected tents and shanties, abandoned vehicles and evacuation of garbage, beggars on pedestrian bridges, motorcyclists and cattle rearing in the city, just as he directed him  to ensure that street lights starts working immediately, in order to prevent high rate of crime and accident at night.

Melaye, however, said, that In the course of the committee’s our oversight, it shall ensure that all parks must be upgraded and security gadgets installed in all locations”.

“Similarly, provision must be made for bomb detectors to be installed on all mass transit  buses in Abu. These are in addition to other security measures that would be proposed by the committee for the safety of our people”, he added.

In his remarks, the Minister of FCT advocated amendment to some of the legislations and laws governing the Territory, which he said were “old and no longer in tandem with the current situation”.

Bello called for the support of the senate in amending the laws, which according to him, would help in proper implementation of the policies and programmes of the ministry.


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