By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it will collaborate with the National Boundary Commission to ensure that the recovery of all its boundary areas that have been encroached upon by neighbouring states.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, made this disclosure on Wednesday at a meeting between him and a delegation from the Commission, led by its Director-General, Dr Muhammad Ahmad.
The total land area of FCT is 8,000 square Kilometers and it is bounded by Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and Kaduna States.
Bello expressed the readiness of the FCT Administration to work with the Commission to ensure the that the boundary areas around the Federal Capital Territory were marked with concrete pillars, such that will be visible to even laymen.
He indicated that structures encroaching on the boundary areas around the territory would be removed and compensation paid to deserving affected developers.
He said the high rate at which the population of the territory was expending had necessitated that steps be made quickly to stop further encroachments.
The minister decried that the FCTA had in the past unwittingly sited projects in parts of Kogi State around the Abaji boundary areas, which is not part of the Abuja land mass.
He also mentioned the Karshi to Ara road that extends into Nasarawa State being funded by the FCTA, as well as parts of the FCT that are already built up that were thought to be Niger State.
He commended the relationship between the FCTA and the Commission, saying it had enabled the Administration to have a clearer picture of the boundary.
He said the FCT Boundary committee had been repositioned with the Permanent Secretary as the Chairman, the Director, Survey and Mapping as the Secretary while respected eminent personalities had also been included.
“All areas that are built up on the border will have to move. With dialogue, we can make arrangement for compensations. The border has to be demarcated and it has to be something those that are not experts can see right through. There should be a buffer zone that differentiates the area. We need to do what the law says,” he reiterated.
The DG Boundary Commission, said that a joint meeting had been scheduled to review the status of the boundary and agree on a new roadmap that will address the challenges of encroachment and counter encroachments.
He advised the FCTA and Nasarawa to cease granting development permits along the border corridor, pending the conclusion of work.
Ahmad also charged the FCTA to undertake a comprehensive census of all the developments on the boundary line along the FCT/Nasarawa area in particular for proper records and necessary actions, to make the boundary of the FCT and its neighbours more visible on the ground.