The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammed Bello has revealed that only 35% of Abuja’s infrastructure has been developed.
Bello said that the FCT was projected with a 3.1 million population when fully built within a projected 25-year-period.
He added that the capital city is the fourth largest in the country and one of the fastest growing in Africa with over 2.75 million population squeezed within just two phases of the planned five phases.
Speaking at the commemoration of the movement of seat of government from Lagos to Abuja, he said that it has been 42 years since its creation and 27 years after the movement from Lagos.
The Minister who was represented by Executive Secretary, FCDA, Mr Umar Gambo Jibrin, urged everyone to see Abuja as a national heritage.
He said, “42 years since its creation and 27 years after the movement from Lagos, Abuja indeed, has come of age. It has surpassed Logos as the destination for foreign direct investments. It has become a major aviation and conference hub for West Africa. We have also inaugurated a modern light rail transport system that is the first of its kind in the sub-region and FCT, indeed, has become the melting pot of Nigeria that it was conceived to be.
“However, the city’s demographic expansion has proceeded beyond the protected growth plan when the city was founded. FCT was projected for 3.1 million population when fully built within a projected 25 years period.
“I urge all of us to see Abuja as our national heritage and join hands to protect it. This is because so much hes been invested in the building of the new capital -infrastructure, public utilities, institutions etc. Today, however, we are confronted with a new set of challenges, namely; vandalism of public utilities like manhole covers, bridge railings, transformers and streetlight poles and components, transformers as well as plain acts of sabotage and disobedience to rules that make for orderly living.”
Executive Head, Editorial Board, The Guardian newspaper, Mr Martins Oloja who was the keynote speaker of the occasion, stated that Abuja has been an orphan of some sort.
He said, “Abuja has been an orphan of some sort perhaps because of near absence of democracy in its governance processes. All the 36 states’ governors are elected but the ‘militicians’ who gave us this constitution made Abuja just a part of the Office of the President, no thanks to Sections 299-302 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Even the original inhabitants, who have been agonising without organising well about unfulfilled promises since 1976, could not remember Abuja @ 40 and I said so in February 2016.”
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