…as Wike vows to review Wassa affordable housing engineering infrastructure project
1. The Federal Capital Territory Administration, will complete access roads to the institution and Research District, Jabi, Abuja where some of the major academic and research institutions in the nation’s capital are located.
2. Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike made this pledge in Abuja on Monday, September 4, 2023, when he led the FCT Minister of State Dr Mariya Mahmoud and heads and officers of relevant agencies of the FCTA on inspection of projects.
3. Barrister Wike assured that the access road to the Institution and Research District, where very notable institutions including the EFCC Corporate Headquarters, the Body of Benchers Building, Baze University, Federal Medical Centre, Institute of Human Virology amongst others are located would soon be completed.
4. Barrister Wike said, “We’ve been able to invite the contractor to see us tomorrow so that we will be able to complete that road, which is very, very important; important in the sense that headquarters of the EFCC is there, the Body of Benchers building is also there.”
5. The FCT Minister also visited the Kabusa Junction along the Apo Mechanic village where some shanties were recently cleared by the Development Control Department. The Minister who commended the department for removing the shanties, said perimeter fencing would be introduced in the area to prevent miscreants from returning to the cleared portion.
6. The FCT Minister, while stressing that the FCT Administration will not allow shanties to take over the city, said, “Development Control has done well by making sure that those shanties are destroyed. Having been destroyed, we are going to put fence in the place so that all these miscreants will not go back there to mess up all what we have done.”
7. Next stop of the Minister is the ongoing project for the provision of engineering infrastructure to Wasa affordable housing project in Wasa District which was awarded in 2014 at the cost of N28 billion and later reviewed upward to N85 billion.
8. The Minister who expressed displeasure over the terms of agreement between the FCT Administration and the private developers involved in the construction of the houses said the FCT Administration will review the agreement to ensure fairness.
9. Barrister Wike said, “We are not impressed with the arrangement made by the FCT. Government will not just cough out N85 billion and the land and we are providing all the infrastructure, then you want to give out to private developers who will now build and sell. We think that government must also participate, having provided the land and having provided the infrastructure.
10. “So, this kind of arrangement is not commendable at all. If we are partnering with private individuals or developers, the common sense is that you provide the land and also provide infrastructure and then they come and develop and make profit. Government can say okay we will take 10 percent, then they take 30 percent, depending. And it is in that case that government will even be involved in determining the prices that the houses would be sold. But when you don’t have that kind of arrangement, then the private developers can put the cost at any rate, which is not also affordable.”
11. Barrister Wike also restated that the FCT Administration, going forward will only award contracts based on the availability of funds to start and complete the projects. He said a situation where contracts are awarded and later abandoned, due to the lack of funds, will no longer be encouraged.
12. He said, “We are not going to be awarding contracts for awarding sake. We are going to award contracts that we will finish and then embark on new contracts.
13. “ Contracts in the FCT are something else. As I speak to you, you don’t even have up to 20 percent completion. Every contract abandoned because of no money. We are not going to encourage that. We are going to look at everything.
14. “We will continue to do this. Areas that we are not sure of, we will go and visit and see it for ourselves before we make any commitment to the contractors.
15. Other officials who accompanied the Minister on the visit include, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmed and other senior officials of the FCTA.
(OFFICE OF THE FCT MINISTER)