JANUARY 1ST, 2022
1. On behalf of the Federal Capital Territory Administration it is my immense pleasure to wish all residents of the Federal Capital Territory a very happy and prosperous New Year.
2. As we commence our journey into the year 2022, I wish to begin by congratulating and commending residents of the Territory, for living up to, and exhibiting the virtues of unity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence which are the ideals on which the FCT is founded.
3. The FCT Administration remains committed towards the wellbeing and welfare of every resident and our efforts at maintaining very high standards in the administration of the Territory yielded positive results in the preceding year.
4. This was manifest in the education sector with the establishment of 6 junior secondary schools, 6 primary schools and 11 senior secondary schools across the 6 Area Councils of the FCT.
5. It is equally worthy to mention that the principal of Government Secondary School Kubwa, Mr Nuhu Musa Zuru was adjudged the best school administrator in Nigeria while a private school in the FCT, the Blooming Heritage School was adjudged the 3rd best private school in the country.
6. Equally, students of the FCT School of Nursing scored a perfect 100% pass in the final Nursing Council examinations. These are pointers to the high academic and management standards of our academic institutions.
7. Our health facilities remain some of the best in the country and our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been exemplary, largely due to the dedication and commitment to duty of our frontline health personnel and I salute all of them.
8. We have not allowed the experience of the COVID-19 crisis go to waste as we have leveraged it to improve our health facilities including upgrading our hospitals and health centers and the establishment of a molecular diagnostic laboratory by the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee.
9. Fellow residents, our efforts at repositioning the FCTA for better service delivery is yielding dividends as staff of the Administration have become more alive to their responsibilities and largely keyed into the public service reform agenda of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari. To our credit, four of our staff bagged the 2021 Head of Service Award for Excellence.
10. Also, in 2021, the Administration was adjudged the best across the country in the Ethics, Integrity and Compliance Scorecard of the ICPC for the year 2020. We intend to continue along this path to rekindle public confidence in our institutions of governance.
11. The FCT is currently the second highest IGR earner amongst the sub nationals in the country. We are however convinced that we have the potentials to be the first, especially so as to augment allocations from the federation account which has been dwindling in the past years.
12. The creation of the Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and PPP Secretariat is intended to actualize our ambitions in this direction. We will continue to leverage our PPP options in the development of the city which has begun with the Land for Infrastructure Swap programme for the provision of world class city infrastructure in the Gwagwa District of the city.
13. It must however be mentioned that building a robust economy requires the active participation of the citizenry. While we are working hard to eliminate the issues of multiple taxation, I also implore residents to be exemplary citizens and perform their civic responsibilities by paying their taxes.
14. You all must admit that the preceding year was also quite challenging as the Territory experienced some unfortunate incidents, many of which were avoidable. These include the incidents of flooding caused largely by the flouting of development control regulations on construction, arson in a major business establishment and fire disasters at Kubwa market and just last week, the fire incident at Next Cash and Carry Supermarket.
15. The fire incident at Next Supermarket however, brought out the best of residents of the city as they rallied to salvage goods from the burning building. Their actions were heroic and selfless and should be emulated in all circumstances.
16. We also faced security challenges in some parts of Territory characterised by kidnapping and other violent crimes and in most cases the Security agencies have been able to solve the crimes and make arrests.
17. I therefore wish to commend the efforts of our security agencies and military formations in keeping the Federal Capital Territory safe over the last 12 months.
18. I must however remind residents that security is everyone’s business. We must imbibe the spirit of saying something when we see anything or anyone suspicious.
19. Despite these challenges, we have persevered and by the grace of God, we will also surmount other hurdles that we may encounter in future.
20. Fellow residents, the year 2022 will be a very politically active year, beginning with FCT Area Council elections which will take place in February, a little over a month from today.
21. I call on you all to exercise your franchise by turning out to vote in these local government elections which are very crucial, as they represent the level of government that is closest to the people.
22. Activities for the conduct of the 2023 general elections will also commence in earnest and I hereby enjoin all residents to please engage in these happenings in an atmosphere of peace, unity and togetherness for which the FCT is known.
23. Fellow residents, we have sadly, over the last few weeks witnessed a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases and fatalities in the FCT and around the country.
24. I enjoin you, therefore to abide by all extant COVID-19 prevention protocols of hand washing, facial covering, physical distancing and vaccination. This is not the time to be complacent.
25. COVID-19 testing and vaccination are available at designated health centers and strategic locations across the city at no cost.
26. You are enjoined to join the fight against this disease by making yourself available for testing and vaccination. That is the only way we can attain herd immunity and truly turn the tide against COVID-19.
27. Fellow residents, while thanking you all for your continuous prayers and sacrifices towards the development of FCT, we also solicit your continuous partnership and support in the New Year by maintaining the peace, and imbibing the virtues of peace, unity and care for each other in our collective quest of building the FCT of our dreams.
28. Once again, I wish you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2022.
MUHAMMAD MUSA BELLO,
HONOURABLE MINISTER, FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY