Vandalism of govt properties worries minister

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Musa Bello, has expressed worry over the level of vandalism of government infrastructure that is ongoing in the territory.

He lamented that equipment being laid for the yet-to-be completed Abuja Light Rail project, was also not being spared by the vandals.

The minister, while expressing the reservation while giving his report card stated that the focus of his administration was to make the city efficient by completing all ongoing projects.

According to him, the stretch of roads from airport to barracks will all be completed., even as he pledged that the Abuja light rail project which is now 70 per cent done would be completed by December 31, 2017.

The minister noted that his plan was to upgrade the slums in Abuja through urban renewal programme and not to demolish them.

He, however, said that demolitions had to be made to make for roads and to control diseases, but assured that in upgrading the communities, his administration had to adopt best international practices.

He said, “we encouraged contractors to come back to site. For 11 months, there was no releases for capital projects and what we did was that we requested for extension of our budget by three months so as to mobilise available contractors to site. That is why you see that semblances of work have returned.

”We have tried to instill rule of law in all we do in all offices. What we observed is that we jettisoned the laws governing Abuja and weakened the institutions.

“What we have been able to do is to strengthen the institution and give officials confidence to say no to any appointee when things are being done wrongly

“My vision is a day when permanent secretary or minister will tell director of land ‘give me a piece of land in that beautiful valley’ and I will like to see the day the director will say ‘no sir, that land you want is a grey area or is on water way and is part of the beauty of this city meant to be left for citizens unborn’

“That is what we need to do, not only in FCT but in the country so as to strengthen the institutions. That is the legacy that I want to leave

“You may also not have known that a lot of building plans are now being approved in time and even if it is not going to be approved, the person, within a given period of time, is briefed on why it is not going to be approved.

”Governments have always been run by civil servants. So let us not personalise offices to individuals. Instead let us strengthen the institutions

“Another area that is a challenge to officials is the pockets of slums in FCT. What do you do to them, do you clear them or turn blind eyes to them?”