THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is planning to spend the sum of N1 billion to renovate the National Mosque and the National Christian Centre.
This was disclosed by the FCT Minister, Muhammed Bello, who also noted during a press briefing held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, that the annual Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the FCT has risen to N200 billion.
The minister said N500 million would be spent on each of the religious houses to make them more presentable as tourist sites for visitors adding that the city was to a large extent, now being run with resources from IGR.
“So really the bulk of what we use now to run the Territory comes from IGR. Going forward with our widening of the tax net, which I just mentioned to you and also our efforts in terms of improving online land retitling.
“These are all areas that are going to really beef up our IGR. And we have no option but to do that or else we really cannot be able to run the city and even to continue to build on infrastructure,” he said.
Bello commended security agencies for doing a good job of maintaining order within the FCT.
“The security agencies are doing extremely well. For every incident that you see in the papers, social media or radio, I tell you, 10 to 15 cases have been nipped in the bud.”
He noted also that demolition exercises would be continued across the FCT to restore the Abuja Master plan.
“As we are seated here, a team is demolishing somewhere already today. And these things will continue, because no matter how you try, there are those who still will not want to follow regulation,” Bello added.
Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Ahmad also spoke on the planned renovations.
“There were votes made for the renovation of these two places of worship as has been explained by the Honourable Minister, about N500 million was voted by the FCT administration and we got through the interface with the management of the National Mosque and the National Christians Centre to see how we can collaborate,” he said.
Also present at the briefing, Director of the Road Transport Service, Bello Abdullateef said commercial motorcyclists would now require license to operate within the FCT and its suburbs.
“The menace arising from many Okada riders is not just about traffic violations but also perpetration of crime. Okada is also used to deliver hard drugs across the city. It requires a multi sectoral approach to deal with the menace. We are introducing riders certification for those using okada for dispatch activities.
“Therefore, until you are verified by the directorate of road transport service you may not be able to ride a bike across Abuja. We are remodeling the licensing and regulations as well. These would be carried out to dissuade the use of Okada. Total ban has been suggested but it is still being considered,” he said.