This Day (Lagos)

8 February 2013

Nigeria: Sambo Seeks Time Frame for Devt of FCT Communities

Vice-President Namadi Sambo Thursday directed the Presidential Committee on Federal Government Intervention for Infrastructural Development of Peri-Federal Capital Territory (FCT) communities to fix a time-frame in the recommendations for the development of communities in the contiguous states.

The main communities being proposed for the Federal Government intervention for infrastructure development are Suleja and environs in Niger State; Karu/Mararaba axis in Nasarawa State and Chikara in Kogi State.

Equally, the satellite communities of Karshi, Jikwoyi, Nyanya, Karu and Zuba are also to be considered in the FCT.

The Minister of FCT, Dr. Bala Muhammed, also made a case for Kaduna State to be added in the list as there was a road to be constructed from Nyanya linking Kaduna State.

Sambo, who gave the directive yesterday at a meeting with the Technical Sub-Committee in the State House, Abuja, also directed that the financial involvement of the Federal Government, the states concerned and the local governments should be clearly spelt out.

While noting that the time for commencement of the project as well as when it would end should be indicated in the recommendations, the Vice-President noted that the idea of complimentary intervention of the Peri-FCT communities is not to build new towns but to develop the ghettos in the boundary communities to the FCT, urging the committee not to go beyond the communities surrounding the FCT.

He also cautioned that building schools to be jointly managed by the contiguous states and the FCT would not be necessary given that the Federal Government is building the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in all states and communities in the country.

A statement by the spokesperson of the Vice President, Alhaji Sani Umar, said Sambo posited that the immediate items to consider are transportation, electricity, housing, portable water, health issues and sanitation in these areas, adding that the amount already envisaged by the committee is on the high side.

He set up another committee headed by the Minister of the FCT to work on the Report presented by the main committee.

In his presentation, Muhammed said: "A combination of factors, particularly those associated with uncontrolled human population influx have created development challenges in the Peri-FCT Communities of Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi States resulting into severe infrastructure gaps."

This situation, according to him, has led to the contiguous states and the FCT to appeal to Federal Government for special intervention towards providing some relief to the affected communities.

The minister explained that the contiguous states and the FCT are to operate a joint account to address infrastructural deficiencies in their respective domains

He emphasised that: "What we are doing is to bring synergy, collaboration in the development and provision of infrastructure and services to all the states contiguous to FCT or Peri-States around the FCT because with the FCT there is also the unwholesome problem of population growth in those states and the challenges and over stretching of the facilities, which they may not be able to bear.

"And so, we are trying to look at the demographic problem as a result to the problem by providing services leveraging on all such of funding options from the multi-lateral to our own Joint Account that we are going to do in order to provide some succumb and solace to the people," he said.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, said the funding for the provision of additional social infrastructural facilities in the Peri-FCT communities would be multi-dimensional.

He said the affected States, the FCT and local government area councils would be involved the funding arrangements.

Similarly, the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, and Awoniyi were in the meeting as well as Ministers of Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple and her Water Resources counterpart, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe.

Also present was the Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, and other representatives from the states.

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