FCT Minister commissions Southern Parkway Road, set to complete more projects in Abuja

Minister more projects in Abuja

By GRACE AUDU, Abuja –

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Musa Bello, on Monday inaugurated  the commencement of OneWay Movement in the newly completed Southern Parkway road, with a pledge to harness the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) potential to fund more projects in Abuja.

Speaking at the ceremony, the minister explained that for the FCT Administration to be in a position to do more projects within the territory, there was the need to improve its internal revenue base without having to depend so much on the monthly allocation from the Federation Account.

In this regard, he said the FCTA would take steps to block all revenue leakages by deploying its information and and communication technology (ICT) to eliminate what he called “structural and systemic problems within the system.”

The minister, who identified land administration as one of the ways through which substantial revenue could be tapped, vowed to take more aggressive steps towards the recovery of debts being owed the FCT ministry.

He said: “We are going to be much more firmer with all those who have outstanding payments to make and have not done so. The laws are very clear, the power given to us by relevant laws are very clear and we are going to use them, the minister said.

“Secondly, we are going to encourage a much easier system of land titling so that everybody who has a property in Abuja will have them titled properly with the proper C.of O, particularly those that have properties in estates.

“Thirdly, we have a lot of leakages, many residents do not pay what they are supposed to pay, whether it is for waste collection or it’s for water consumed. This has to do with structural and systemic problems within the system and gradually we are working on them and we are going to levearge on ICT to make sure it is done.”

Speaking against the backdrop of fears about the possibility of sustaining the funding of the signature projects in the FCT, Malam Bello said: “Well as you know funding for Abuja and FCT in general is basically from three main sources namely, Federation account (1% of what the FG gets), funding from federal budget and funding from what the FCT itself generates based on its internally generated funds.

“To a very large extent, we have no control over the very first two, the first one is constitutional, it depends on what monies the Federal Government gets based on its own income. The second one which is the federal budget- we have to share from a basket together with other Federal Ministries and obviously we have no control over that.

“But what we do have control is our internally generated revenue and it is very clear and I will also tell you now. At the highest level of the administration, we have decided that for us to truly fund Abuja, we have to work on our IGR and there are so many ways we can do that and we are working on that particularly land administration.

He appealed to the media  to help enlighten the FCT residents on the need to co-operate with his ministry by protecting and safeguarding critical infrastructures by promptly reporting vandals to appropriate authorities.

“What I will appeal to you our partners in progress-members of the press is that this city is for us all. I want to appeal to you to partner with the FCT administration, do a lot of publicity on our behalf, try to make the citizens also appreciate that in building and developing a city, the relationship has to be very cooperative, let them support us, help us also to make sure that all those who are vandalizing critical infrastructure are identified, shamed and prosecuted because we can’t be everywhere and the security agencies can’t be everywhere, ” he said.

Malam Belo insisted that the development and beautification  of the nation’s capital city required the joint efforts of the FCTA and the citizens.

“So citizens also have to play their role. I think when we all partner along these lines, I have no doubt whatsoever, we will raise the necessary resources and they will be able to fund this city for all of us particularly those coming after us, that is our children and the young ones will be truly be very proud of us,” he stressed.

The Southern Parkway, which is around the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) as provided in the Abuja Master Plan,  forms the major spine of the capital city.  It is said to be one of the longest roads in Abuja and the first of its kind in Africa, starting from the Business Districts and traversing all the four phases of the Federal Capital City with facilities like streetlights, recreational, cafes and underpass.







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