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Senate Condemns High Cost of Building Construction in the FCT; Warns Area Council Chairmen of Snubbing Senate Summons

The Senate on today lamented the high cost of construction in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), describing it as ‘exploitative’. senate warns amac chairmen

This was made known today by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the FCT, Senator Dino Melaye in a keynote address delivered at the committee’s inaugural meeting and interactive session with the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mohammed Bello, and the leadership of the FCTA.

Senator Melaye noted that while both Government and construction firms had a hand in fuelling the high cost of executing civil projects in the FCT, the construction firms have attributed the abnormality to the irregular and selective payments for executed contracts by the FCT Administration despite high interest rates and further liabilities incurred by the firms.

Melaye, while calling on the Secretariat, Departments and Agencies of the FCT to double its Internally

Generated Revenue (IGR) before the second half of 2016 and block or minimise financial leakages, decried the poor administration of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) which has made the FCT environment slip into an embarrassing state as can be seen from the unrestrained freedom of cattle grazing, proliferation of beggars on pedestrian bridges, ubiquitous heaps of garbage and overgrown bushes around the city centre, free movement of commercial motorcyclist, streets littered with abandoned vehicles as well as the erection of tents and shanties which constitute grave security fears to a country that currently grapples with insurgencies and various security challenges.

Melaye also advocated the upgrade of parks in the FCT alongside having bomb detectors being installed on all Mass Transit Buses while also noting that security was a collective responsibility and not just the role of security forces alone. He equally decried the high cost of accommodation and land purchase in the FCT while also bemoaning the railway sector as a ‘conduit pipe’ where ‘billions of Naira is allocated annually without visible corresponding developments on ground.’

Responding, the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mohammed Bello, assured the Senate Committee that even though the challenges facing the leadership of the FCT administration were enormous, it had already begun working and had vowed to leave the FCT better than it met it. Describing the Senate Committee on the FCT as the legislative arm of the FCT, Mallam Bello admitted that while the FCT had very good laws and regulations (some of them about 3 decades old), the major challenge bedevilling the FCT was adherence to those laws. He promised a strong partnership with the Senate in order to move the FCT administration forward.

Meanwhile, the 6 Area Council chairmen of the FCT were critically warned never to snub any invitation by the Senate. Noting that the Area Council chairmen were notoriously famous for this habit, Senator Melaye described their habit of sending representatives as an insult to the Senate and warned of grave consequences in the future. 

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