Daily Trust (Abuja)

15 May 2012

Nigeria: FCT 'Land Swap' to Provide N26 Billion Infrastructure

The FCTA has started the land swap system within eight districts in Phase IV area of the territory, involving the provision of integrated infrastructure with over N26 billion, the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT minister, Hajiya Jamilah Tangaza has revealed.

The swap system is a public- private -partnership agreement with private estate developers aimed at opening up new districts in the city at little or no cost to the FCT administration.

She explained that the initiative to be provided involves 12,000 hectares of the 24 districts under Phase IV, while the administration is also thinking of replicating same in other area councils in order to decongest the city centre due to the huge influx of people, which has stretched existing facilities.

Hajiya Jamila said under the programme, the FCTA has already started a pilot project where a private developer, Messrs Plethora Realty & Facility Managers Ltd, was granted 222 hectares of land in Caraway Dallas District for 450 plots under a special contract, of which the company will provide primary infrastructure without any financial or technical cost on the FCTA.

She further explained that under the project, the company will provide an integrated infrastructure worth N26 billion in the affected district of Callaway.

Also buttressing the issue, an information consultant, Ibrahim Biu, said it has been stipulated that 15 percent of the total project cost will be transferred into the project's account before the iy commences.

Ibrahim Biu said in the past, allottees of mass housing projects were made to provide secondary and tertiary infrastructure but it did not yield the desired objectives even though the affected districts have been substantially developed.

He said FCTA introduced the land-swap system in order to get private sector involved in real estate development because government alone cannot do it and currently population of the FCT stands at 4.5 million people instead of about 2.5million as envisaged when the Abuja master plan was made.

Mallam Biu revealed that the FCT minister has setup a committee that is expected to come up with an affordable housing policy frame work for the FCT, since the administration does not have any as of now.

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