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Save FCT from insecurity, infrastructure decay – Lawmakers urge Wike

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The House of Representatives has urged the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to accord priority to the rising rate of insecurity, declining revenue, and decaying infrastructure in the nation’s capital.

The chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara, who gave the charge at the inaugural meeting of the panel, particularly called for efforts to tackle the increased activities of “one-chance taxi drivers” who rob unsuspecting passengers.

Betara said the current state of Abuja infrastructure presents a significant challenge, with blockages resulting in bleeding sewers across the territory, incidences of knocked-down street lights, turning the city into darkness at night, aiding activities of hoodlums and open manholes, and causing accidents to motorists and pedestrians.

The former appropriations chairman said the FCT national component budget has been shrinking over the years from an average sum of over N100 million to a paltry sum of N12 million in 2023, posing a significant challenge to the development of the territory.

He called on the FCT Administration to always notify land title holders of the payment of ground rent and fast track the processing of documents within 14 days, urging owners of undeveloped landed property to develop it and pay ground rent.

“Honourable minister, we humbly appeal to you to give due consideration to these observations. We wish that you collaborate with the committee to engage relevant (agencies) executive arm of the government to raise the Government of Nigeria Budget (FCT National Component),” Betara stated.

In his response, the permanent secretary of FCT Administration, Adesola Olusade, who stood in for Wike, said the ongoing demolition exercise was to rid the territory of crime and return to the Abuja master plan.

“Some of these shanties have become dens of drugs and criminals. The ills and dangers of these shanties far outweigh the benefits,” he said.

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