Gridlock: FCT minister receives ministerial taskforce report on abuja

Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, Federal Capital Territory Minister

THE Special Ministerial Taskforce set up by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, to address the perennial traffic gridlock and other environmental challenges on the Abuja-Nyanya-Karu-Jikwoyi-Karshi road has submitted its report.

The minister, who commended the committee for the job well done, however, expressed concern that if the great job done by the committee was not sustained, the area would return to its days of decay.

The committee, which began its work in April last year, therefore, made a call for more security presence along the axis.

Its Chairman, Major General Emmanuel Nienge (rtd), made this call against the backdrop of efforts by the government to root out criminalities on the Bwari/Kaduna route into the city.

According to him, the route now being patrolled by the military is likely to leave Nynaya/Jikwoyi-Karshi axis vulnerable to the criminals being chased out that axis.

“We pray that constant security presence is maintained in that area which is strategically important to the FCT, considering its position as the gateway to the city that has a very large population. The road from Bwari to Kaduna, the military are patrolling there more. So, there is a tendency that most of these criminals will now divert their attention to this other side. I think we should take that route more seriously,” he added.

The committee also called for synergy among the various governments institutions under the FCT administration that were working towards the same goal, including the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), the Abuja Satellite Town Development Department (STDD) and the Transport Secretariat, saying that was the only way government could surmount the environmental and traffic challenges that have bedeviled the city.

Nienge commended the FCT minister for insisting that the committee project a human face in the execution of its mandate which resulted in proper education and enlightenment before major government actions are embarked upon, adding that their assignment succeeded to a large extent due to this approach.

He, however, called on the FCTA to have a closer look at the activities of the various transport unions and organizations in the territory to ensure that they do not arrogate unto themselves powers that they do not possess under the law.

The FCT minister, Malam Bello, while receiving the report, commended the team for a job well done, saying there has been an appreciable improvement on that axis. He assured that the Administration will look very closely at the report to find a way forward.

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Malam Bello lamented that the problems bedevilling governments over the years have been those of institutional failure, stressing that if these institutions had done their jobs well, there would not have been needed for taskforces in the first instance.

He charged the various heads of the agencies and parastatals under the FCTA to be alive and more proactive in their duties and not always wait for directives from the Minister before they act.

According to the minister, “It is very important for us to ensure that the relevant departments saddled with the responsibilities whether they are at the level of the Ministry of FCT proper, Secretariats and agencies or Area Council, sit together, look at their mandates and work.

“These communities are your citizens, they are in your localities. Your main duty is to provide a good environment for the people to be healthy and for an environment that all of us should be proud of,” he stated.

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