Pix 1: FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello (right) and the Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Buki Ponle, during a courtesy visit to the FCTA by a delegation from NAN, led by the later in Abuja on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
1. The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has called on the media to support efforts by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to protect public facilities in the territory.
2. Malam Bello who made the call when he received the management team of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), led by the Managing Director, Buki Ponle on a courtesy visit to the FCTA on Thursday, July 7, 2022, expressed the hope that the agency would use its far reach to propagate the Administration’s policies and programmes, especially in the fight against the vandalization of facilities like manhole covers, streetlights fittings, rail tracks as well as the preservation of parks and gardens in the territory.
3. The Minister stressed the importance of the manholes in the protection of critical national telecommunication infrastructure amongst others and assured his guests that the FCTA was willing to partner with the media to ensure that the public are properly sensitized on the need to own and protect the city.
4. He said, apart from the remodeling of the manhole covers using concrete and composite materials, the FCTA has strengthened enforcement as part of measures to curtain theft of the manhole covers while disclosing that rehabilitation work was ongoing on traffic lights to equip them with monitoring cameras to improve seamless traffic flow and make motoring pleasurable in the FCT.
5. The Minister solicited the support of the media in naming and shaming those who violate traffic laws and those caught vandalizing facilities, adding that the Administration would continue to arrest, prosecute and conduct psychiatric tests on the attested.
6. While commending NAN for its concern for the city and passion for its greenery, the Minister stated the determination of the FCTA to retain 40 percent of green area, as designated in the Abuja Masterplan, in line with the dream of Abuja’s founding fathers.
7. Explaining the rationale for the implementation of the FCT Park Policy, Malam Bello disclosed that the parks and gardens now harbour criminals, drug addicts and produce noise pollution, all of which pose serious security challenges to neighbourhoods and FCT residents as a whole.
8. He said: “Abuja by design is supposed to have 40 per cent of the entire landmass to be green. What we have done as an Administration is to try and go back to what the founding fathers have thought out for this city… the whole concept of the park policy is to ensure that these green areas in the territory are kept clean to be able to meet the 40 per cent threshold of green areas.
9. “Abuja was way ahead of many cities in terms of climate consideration and the whole idea was that you develop these green areas to make them truly green with vegetation, with green land, flowers and trees”.
10. “That was achieved to a large extent some years back but with population growth of the city and demand for housing and land, if we are not conscious about it, then we may derail and just make it a concrete city”, he added.
11. Earlier, Managing Director, NAN, Buki Ponle, had commended the Minister for the delivery of world class infrastructure and services in the FCT and the greening of the City.
12. Ponle who expressed concern over the vandalization of manholes and other public facilities in the FCT, pledged to support the FCTA in informing residents on the need to protect rather than vandalize them.
13. He also called on the States of the Federation to emulate the good work in the FCT.
14. Present at the visit were the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, Chief of Staff to the Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, Director, Information and Communication Department, Malam Muhammad Sule Hazat and other senior officials of the FCTA and NAN.
RABI MUSA UMAR
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, INFORMATION
OFFICE OF THE HONOURABLE MINISTER