FCTA to revive mass transport buses, introduce bi-weekly sanitation

THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it will revive the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO) buses to address the transport challenges within the FCT.

According to a statement by the director of press, Office of the Minister Anthony Ogunleye on Tuesday, August 29, FCT Nyesom Wike disclosed this after a meeting on Monday, August 28.

He also disclosed that the administration will introduce bi-weekly sanitation programmes in the city, which will enable residents to keep the environment clean.

“The Minister revealed that there are plans to dedicate two Saturdays in a month as environmental sanitation days to allow residents to clean up their environment, saying that ‘Abuja must be clean’ and called for the cooperation of all residents in this regard,” the statement read.

Transportation and sanitation have been major challenges experienced by residents of the FCT.

In 2021, The ICIR reported that poor planning led to the failure of the AUMTCO transport scheme, leaving many residents to battle with an inefficient transport system resulting from the rising population of residents.

The AUMTCO commenced operations with over 500 high-capacity buses procured at a total cost of about N1.3 billion, deployed on designated FCT routes, including Abuja-Mararaba Abuja-Bwari, Abuja-Kuje, Abuja-Gwagwalada and Abuja-Suleja and the city centre.

However, many of the buses are currently out of use and can be spotted parked at the AUMTCO head office in the Kubwa area of the FCT.

Head of Administration and Human Resources AUMTCO Musa Bello told The ICIR that the centralisation of government offices in Abuja city areas was one of the reasons the company could not break even and is currently running at a loss.

He also said that the cost of maintaining the buses was too high, which made it difficult for the company to repair broken-down vehicles, issues that could have been resolved through better planning.

The ICIR also reported that an absence of garbage bins within the FCT was worsening waste disposal problems and resulting in more refuse heaps across the city.

Wike also disclosed that contractors will be mobilised to return to the sites of ongoing and abandoned projects in the FCT.

N826m approved for resettlement of Jiwa residents

The FCTA has also approved almost N826m as compensation for residents of the Jiwa community, who will be affected by the construction of the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

    Wike stated that the sum had been made available for disbursement and that affected residents would receive payment in a matter of days.

    “As we leave here, the Federal Capital Territory, through the FCDA, will release the money approved for compensation and resettlement of those who are there. The total value of what we are paying is N825, 819,911.43 (Eight hundred and twenty-five million, eight hundred and nineteen thousand naira, Nine Hundred and Eleven Naira Forty-Three Kobo) for the compensation and resettlement,” he said.

    He also added that ten Jiwa indigenes would be employed by the FCTA as part of the compensation to members of the community, and construction of the Tunga Madaki bridge will be included in the FCT’s 2024 budget.

    “Secondly, we are going to provide for the community a modern healthcare facility that is better than what is there now,” Wike further promised.

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

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