In a bid to actualise the transformation of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) into a development model in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, has flagged off the rehabilitation of 135 roads within the capital city with an estimated amount of about N15billion.
And giving an indication that he has blocked leakages in the execution of projects in the FCT administration, the minister warned contractors and engineers handling the rehabilitation of 135 roads against contract variations.
Speaking during the flag-off of the road projects, the immediate past Rivers State governor promised however that the FCTA would pay all the contractors their money to enable them complete the project within the agreed timeline.
Wike sounded a note of warning that he meant business in delivering the renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu to residents of Abuja by replicating what he did in Rivers State and, as such, he would will not take it lightly with erring contractors.
“To the contractors, let me warn you now. All these things you are doing with engineering services will not work again. Nothing like variation; it will not work. Kobo, one naira, in the next seven days it becomes N15; it will not work again. It will not work. So, don’t even try it. There is no variation in this job.
“We have the money to pay you. So, if you like to go to engineering services and do anything with them, it will not work. We are paying you your money and I assure you that nobody will owe you a dime. We are going to pay you and you must finish within the time we have agreed with you,” he said.
The minister also warned officials of the FCT Administration not to bring any paper asking for reconsideration or file for unanticipated issues, saying everything has been considered and anticipated.
Also, in his quest to properly spread development across the six area councils, Wike recently inaugurated eight mandate secretaries, which took the immediate past minister three years to inaugurate during his tenure.
Failure to inaugurate them made it difficult for them to deliver their mandates as secretaries of FCTA secretariats.
Wike, while admonishing the newly inaugurated secretaries, said it was a privilege for him to serve as the FCT minister and to work with them as they embark on a mission of rebuilding and developing the FCT into a world-class capital territory.
“This task has been entrusted in us by His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and it comes at a time when our beloved capital city needs renewal. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to undertake various tours and assessments within the FCT, and I must admit that I have been less than impressed with some of the observations I have made,” he said.
The minister further told the mandate scribes that it was incumbent upon them to address the issues with determination and urgency, particularly regarding their procurement processes.
He added that transparency, efficiency, and accountability must become the cornerstones of their administration.
“As Mandate Secretaries, your role in this journey of transformation is pivotal. You are not only advisors but also leaders and implementers of our policies. You must translate our vision into tangible actions that will shape the future of the FCT.
“I urge you to approach your responsibilities with unwavering dedication, for service is a privilege that often demands sacrifices. Be prepared to make those sacrifices, as our mission is greater than any one of us.
“Our president has entrusted us with the monumental task of rebuilding and developing the FCT into a world-class city. To achieve this, we must address several key areas that are essential for the progress of our city and the well-being of our residents.
“First and foremost, we will give due attention to the development of our satellite towns. The prosperity and well-being of our residents extend beyond the city centre, and it is our responsibility to ensure that all areas of the FCT experience progress and development,” he said.
He further said a significant aspect of their mission will be the enhancement of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile and that they must explore innovative ways to raise the necessary funds to support their development agenda.
The minister continued: “This is crucial to finance the ambitious projects and initiatives we have planned. Public transportation is a major challenge that we must address comprehensively. No modern city can function effectively and efficiently without a reliable and comprehensive public transportation system. We are committed to establishing an integrated and efficient transport network that meets the needs of our residents.
“Environmental sanitation is another pressing concern, as expressed by our residents. Clean and well-maintained surroundings are not only a reflection of our city’s pride but also a fundamental requirement for a healthy and prosperous community. It is a collective responsibility of both the government and the citizens, and we must work collaboratively to ensure a cleaner and greener FCT.
“Security, an equally shared responsibility, is paramount to the well-being of our residents. We will collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies and communities to ensure a safe and secure environment for all. Without security, we cannot hope to achieve our development goals”.
The director of press to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye, while speaking on the minister’s developmental initiative, said with his antecedent as governor of Rivers State, Wike executed a lot of projects to uplift the state and improve the infrastructure of the state.
“So, his coming to the FCT was not a surprise because President Tinubu wants the same rapid development that took place in River State to take place in the nation’s capital city.
“Also, the minister knows that he does not have much time, and as we know, he is a very energetic person, and he needs a lot of work to be done in the FCT. As his pace is going, the assumption will be that he is moving too fast, but it is because of the quantity of work that needs to be done in the FCT.
“So, if he is going to accomplish what he has proposed to accomplish in the FCT, you know he does not have any time to waste. It is not the minister moving very fast that is important; it is the rest of us moving at his pace. Also, the rest of the residents of the FCT support and appreciate his efforts to bring the much-needed development to the FCT,” Ogunleye said.