A Man Hungry For History

A Man Hungry For History

For the past 38 years Abuja is changing in a lot of ways. But the most poignant and standout expression of the changes are the incredible amount of work that’s been done on the road network since the commencement of Wike administration.

All over the city, the change is enveloping residents, and it is one aspect of infrastructural development that can be seen and felt by all.

However, the pace of development of Abuja is therefore significantly dependent on the capacity and qualities of the man chosen by the President as the FCT minister.

If the minister is good, developments in the territory progress faster. If he or she is someone with an average leadership mentality, development becomes arrested and the city falls asleep.

Indeed, when President Tinubu appointed Nyesom Wike as Minister of the FCT, on 21st August, 2023 as the 17th Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, there was quite some surprise about his choice for the position.

Wike is a young man in a hurry but resolute to write his own history. He bowed to the overpowering zeal to serve humanity. His strength of character and no nonsense reputation for getting results has made this passionate political leader from Rivers state to prove that success is no respecter of gender but favours hard work, tenacity and purpose.

Success is not accidental, neither is it served a la carte; you have to go for it! Either you are a man or woman, young or old, the only thing that separates leaders from others, winners from losers, is their dedication and perseverance in bringing true change into anything they do.

Wike represents a new age of politicians who are deploying their technocrat expertise in creating innovative policies and taking the responsibility for effecting change in the society.

History has a way of throwing up persons with a difference to sharpen its perspective in any given epoch. Politicians are seldom known to think of tomorrow. It is statesmen who do so. He falls in the later grouping.

It appears that even in his stride Barrister Nyesom Wike has already commenced efforts to stamp his feet in history as a man who utilised his office to make a profound difference in the lives of the people, especially rural dwellers.

It has come to be that the new FCT administration under Nyesom Wike must be deliberate, intentional, purposeful, radical, creative and outstanding.

The job of steering Abuja to the path of rapid development, a smart and functional city full of opportunities for all, a city capable of global competitiveness, intelligent and compassionate slum renewal regime, creative satellite towns development and security architecture transformation are some of the huddles Nyesom Wike must cross to write his name in gold.

The FCT Minister reminded those who cared to listened that the mandate given to him by Mr. President was a marching order, “we must bring FCT back to what it is supposed to be and we are willing and we have the capacity to do that. That is the message. It is not going to be business as usual.”

Nyesom Wike is living up to the billing as a minister, and the good work that he is doing must be admired and commended

From his maiden address to the residents of FCT on his assumption of office on Monday, August 21, 2023, Wike left no one in doubt that he is conversant with the challenges of the territory and is ready to face them with courage and boldness.

The minister decried the lack of a government public transport system in the territory and expressed disappointment in the way Okada and Keke have taken over the city. He also read riot acts to those involved in land racketeering in the FCT affirming that any land owner with C of O who refuses to develop the plot stands the chance of losing it to the government. He promised to light up the city streets and improve cleanliness across the city within six months.

Abuja needs exceptional leadership that will end the reckless abuse of the master plan, commence accelerated implementation of the authentic master plan, improve socio-economic opportunities for residents and administer the territory with uncommon innovativeness that will help Abuja become a global destination of choice.

However, on the budget for the first time, attention is placed on infrastructural developments as Nyesom Wike, says the N1.15 trillion 2024 proposed FCT Statutory Budget was designed to transform the capital city and rural communities.

He explained that out of the N1.15 trillion, N421.44 billion was earmarked as recurrent expenditure, representing 36.7 per cent, while N726.3 billion was set aside for capital expenditure, representing 63.3 per cent.

He also explained that the proposed capital expenditure would be dedicated to the development of infrastructure, with an emphasis on the completion of ongoing projects.

Wike added that out of the N726.3 billion proposed capital expenditure, N80 billion was allocated for SUKUK loan projects, while N29 billion was earmarked for the Abuja Light Rail project.

The minister also said that N500 billion was for commercial loans for the completion of some ongoing capital projects in the federal capital city and satellite towns.

He said that the balance of N117.3 billion was dedicated to the completion of ongoing capital projects and other counterpart-funded related projects aimed at enhancing socio-economic activities in the FCT.

Wike said that the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) got the larger chunk of the capital budget.

–  Abdul is Abuja based journalist via [email protected]

He said that FCDA got N457 billion, STDD got N116 billion, and other Secretariat, Departments, and Agencies (SDAs) got N153.3 billion.

This, according to him, is to address critical areas like ongoing road construction, the completion of water treatment plants and related facilities, and a few new projects.

He explained that the N457 billion allocated to FCDA was for the provision of infrastructure within and around the capital city, of which N282 billion was for ongoing projects and N175 billion was for new critical projects.

“Some of the critical projects to be executed by the FCT Administration in the 2024 statutory budget proposal are the completion of Roads B6 and B12 and construction of an access road and car park for Abuja Light Rail.

The minister added that the transportation sector got N69 billion, of which N32 billion was for the construction of bus terminals at Kugbo, Jahi, and Central Business District.

He said that N80.3 billion was proposed for education sector, while the health sector got N45.7 billion.

“The health budget seeks to complete the construction of hospitals in Gwagwalada, Gwarimpa, and Utako districts to enhance the capacity of some of our hospitals through the procurement of modern ambulances for eight FCTA hospitals,” he said.

Wike also said that a total of N7.9 billion was proposed for FCT Agriculture and Rural Development sector to improve agricultural production and engagement of youths in agriculture.

This, the minister said, would enhance food security, income, and better standards of living in rural communities.

Wike equally said that N5 billion was allocated to the Social Development Secretariat for the promotion of gender, youth, child development, and other vulnerable groups in the FCT.

“It will also be used for the promotion and preservation of Nigeria’s art and culture within the FCT, including the development of sports through the provision of sporting, cultural, and recreational facilities,” he said.

Wike also said that the Legal Services Secretariat got N5.6 billion for providing legal services, while N1.2 billion was earmarked for the Abuja Geographic Information System.

The minister further said that a sum of N4.2 billion was proposed for the Area Council Services Secretariat to ensure effective and efficient service delivery for rural transformation, improve the quality of lives of citizens.

Wike also said that land speculation would no longer be tolerated as lands allocated and not developed after a period of time would be revoked and re-allocated for immediate development, adding that uncompleted buildings which have been run over by weeds and have become hideout for criminals would be taken over by government as part of efforts to secure the FCT.

He also said that alternative transportation to motorcycles and tricycles in the Federal Capital City (FCC) would be provided to make movement in the FCC and from the suburbs to the FCC easier for commuters, stressing that mass transit buses and the Abuja Light Rail would be made functional again.

Barr.Wike assured that he would be a hands-on Minister and urged the media and residents to work with him to achieve Mr President’s mandate for the FCT.

With these, even his critics cannot but applaud the giants strides being witnessed in Abuja in recent times.

Abdul is Abuja based journalist via [email protected]

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