Senator Bala Mohammed
By Senator Iroegbu
President Goodluck Jonathan has admonished the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, to ensure that the Abuja Master Plan is not abused in order for it to attain international standard.
Jonathan, who gave the charge through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, while inaugurating the Board of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in Abuja.
He warned that the Federal Government would not condone the abuse of the Abuja Master Plan in whatever way, adding that the integrity of the plan must be maintained at all times.
The FCT Administration (FCTA) had been involved in an intense battle with developers in the nation’s capital, who were aggrieved by the demolition of their estates by the Department of Development Control (DDC) alleging that the structures were illegal and distorts the original concept of the Federal Capital City (FCT).
However, despite the outrage that greeted the demolition of the estates, mostly along the Umar Yar’Adua Expressway, the President vowed to deal with anyone found violating the city’s design, saying the era of impunity was over.
He emphasised that the new Board must ensure transparency and value for money in its operations.
Jonathan further warned that his Administration has zero tolerance for corruption, which must be sustained and indeed, given greater impetus.
He said: “There are two things of equal importance that must be uppermost in your minds. First, the Federal Government will not condone any abuse of the master plan. Next, you must ensure transparency and value for money in your operations.
“The on-going prosecutions of various officials found wanting in their dealings with public funds are proof that we reject the notion of governance as business as usual.”
The President also assured that his administration was firmly committed to the development of the FCT and will welcome new initiatives to accelerate the transformation of Abuja into a world-class capital.
“In particular, we are committed to attracting private sector investments for the development of the Centenary City as the initiative will brand Abuja, as an international destination of choice with distinctly Nigerian flavour of culture, recreation and leisure: a green city, a business hub and a model for our continent,” he added.
He remarked that his administration constituted this new Board as part of a comprehensive plan to sustain the tempo of development in the FCT; and enhance the results already achieved by the leadership of FCTA in the pursuit of its mandate.