13 December 2018

Nigeria: Abuja Has Surpassed Lagos in Foreign Direct Investments - Minister

Abuja — Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, said Abuja has surpassed Lagos as destination for foreign direct investments.He disclosed that the FCT has become a major aviation and conference hub for West Africa.

"We have also inaugurated another light rail transport system that is the first of its kind in the sub region," he said.The minister said the demographic expansion of the city has proceeded beyond the projected growth plan when the city was founded.Also, Executive Head, Editorial Board, The Guardian, Mr. Martins Olojo, has urged the Federal Government to approve the election of a Mayor for the FCT.

Oloja, who disclosed this yesterday, said the move was necessary for the democratisation of governance in Abuja.He spoke at an event organised by the Department of History and Archives, FCT, Abuja to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the relocation of the federal capital from Lagos to Abuja on December 12, 1991.

Oloja explained that a democratically elected Mayor would aid good governance and accountability to the FCT electorate, unlike the present ministerial system that lacks transparency and responsibility to the people.He added that the process would also put Nigeria on the global map as one of the countries with an elected mayor that runs its capital city, in accordance with democratic best practices.

He canvassed the democratisation of Abuja should be completed, especially now that the nation is debating restructuring. He said it was also appropriate as the National Assembly is tinkering with the second amendment of the constitution.

"Sections 297-304 of the Constitution should be redrafted to allow democracy in the choice of FCT Chief Executive and City council."Nothing is basically wrong in the National Assembly making laws for the Territory, but an elected Mayor is needed to enhance the majesty of democracy in the territory, so that the World Council of Mayors can properly admit Nigeria's capital city Mayor," he said.

He restated that the world has gone beyond the 'military arrangement' in Abuja where the minister is accountable to only the president.Oloja added: "That is the Next Level that all stakeholders in Abuja should agitate for. That is the political restructuring that Abuja needs. The conclusion of the whole matter is that we need an elected chief executive as they call the office in Hong Kong, for instance, to plan for the development of the remaining districts in Abuja.

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