2024: What to expect in FCT

FOR many residents of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), there is hope that the city will witness more development projects in 2024.

But for others, the fear of losing property and livelihood to the restoration of the Abuja Master plan by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA)  remains a burden they bear daily.

In his New Year message on Monday, January 1, Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, promised a six-point development plan for the city in 2024.

These include infrastructural development, community engagement and inclusivity, and promoting sustainable practices such as waste management, green initiatives and renewable energy to preserve the environment.

Others are economic empowerment, which Wike said would involve creating enabling environments for businesses to thrive and improving security and advancement of social welfare programmes, which would prioritise healthcare, housing, and other essential services.

The ICIR reported that insecurity, a problem confronting FCT residents over the years, persisted in 2023.

Except the government takes more drastic actions against criminals, challenges such as kidnapping, once-chance and burglary may continue in the city.

In September 2023, FCT resident Greatness Olufemi died of wounds sustained during an attack by criminal gangs operating as commercial drivers, known as one-chance operators in Abuja. There were also several cases of kidnapping recorded in the city in the past year.

The ICIR reported that residents of the FCT were being denied healthcare services due to a shortage of bed space in several public hospitals.

High expectations for tackling public transportation crisis 

One of the major expectations of FCT residents in the new year is that the FCTA mandates the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO) to resuscitate the decaying Abuja Urban Mass Transport Scheme as a major intervention in public transportation in the city.

This can be supported by the palliative buses promised by President Bola Tinubu, other FCTA initiatives and those of the private sector.

The ICIR reports that the cost of transportation has doubled in Nigeria, including the FCT, since the Federal Government removed the subsidy on petrol in May 2023.

More women’s participation in politics

The senator representing the FCT, Ireti Kingibe, promised to ensure more women’s participation in politics in the city.

She said the more women are involved in politics, the more their voices will be heard.

Similarly, in her New Year message, the senator pledged quality representation and improved security and development for residents.

“There are a lot of programmes lined up, and we are going to take their execution seriously. I will interface with the executive arm of government, the organised private sector, as well as international organisations where possible, to fast-track the development of the Federal Capital Territory.

“Safety, for me, is of prime concern. You can initiate the best policies, execute the best programmes, and provide world-class facilities. If the people they are meant for are too scared, feel unsafe or not alive to enjoy themselves, all these efforts will be in futility,” Kingibe noted.




     

     

    Increased crackdown on defaulters of Abuja master plan, illegal motor parks

    The crackdown on FCT residents tampering with the city’s master plan will continue in 2024.

    The director of the FCT Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, disclosed this in December 2023.

    “Those that want to do businesses in the city should conduct these businesses in the areas designated for such purposes and should also contribute to keeping Abuja clean. Don’t just come in, generate waste, and go. You must be part of the team poised to keep Abuja clean,” he said.

    Commercial motorcyclists are also likely to be affected by the development. Head of operations, Directorate of Road Traffic Services in the FCT, Deborah Osho, said efforts would be made to rid the city of illegal motor parks and motorcycle operators plying unapproved routes.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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