1.1. I am very delighted to welcome you all on the occasion of this Press Conference, marking the 2nd Year-in-Office of the current FCT Administration.
1.2 At inception, I indicated that the main thrust of this Administration would be the completion of critical infrastructural projects with positive impact in the lives of residents, strengthen existing institutions through necessary reforms and ensuring security of life and property.
1.3 These have largely been achieved with your support and the cooperation of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory. I come today to thank you all and to present the score card of what we have collectively achieved.
2.0 MEETING FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
The various payments made by the administration pursuant to our stated objectives testify to our commitment to bolster the FCT economy, create or save jobs and deliver on these projects. They include:
Ø The sum of over N73 billion paid to contractors handling various projects in the Federal Capital Territory.
Ø This includes 1508 indigenous contractors owed N100 million and below, with matured bills and for which provisions were made in the statutory budget.
Ø Completed payments for the First Phase of the Railway Project to the tune of N17.04 Billion.
Ø We have paid the sum of N8.9b in the last quarter of 2016 and another N3.3b billion paid to over 503 other contractors with similar bills in the in the period under review.
Ø From the fourth quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, the number of liabilities have come down.
Ø Pensioners’ outstanding arrears have been paid up-to-date with the release of N2.3 billion. This includes all forms of entitlements to retirees under the FCT Administration.
Ø We have paid out the sum of N2.4 billion which form part of our obligation to on-going counterpart projects to JICA and other multilateral organizations.
3.0 INFRASTRUCTURE AND UTILITIES
3.1 Infrastructure works being done or completed include:
Ø Completion of the eastern portion of the Inner Southern Express Way Bridge.
Ø Award and completion of the Villa Roundabout Bridge project; a major component of the Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX), namely the Murtala Mohammed Expressway.
Ø Significant progress has been made towards competing B6 and B12 bridges otherwise known as Constitution and Independence Roads respectively. Completion of the roads will enable allotees develop their plots, improve city skyline and boost FCT economic vibrancy.
Ø We have completed the 16.5Km Kuje-Gwagwalada bypass road traversing major agricultural firms and farmlands and could break gridlocks on the Gwagwalada Road.
Ø The 15km Apo-Karshi Road is ongoing. We hope it would alleviate the difficulties faced by commuters from Mararaba, Nyanya and Karu axis. We are also planning another bypass on the Keffi-Nyanya Road, that would link up at the Mpape area.
Ø Work is also ongoing at the ONEX Dutse-Alhaji link road.
Ø The Administration has secured approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the sum of N2.6Billion for massive construction of road infrastructure within the satellite town of Karu Phase 2.
Ø We are soon to commence construction of the Right-Hand Service Carriageway of Outer Northern Expressway from Apo – Wasa.
Ø We have inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee on the PPP Project for the Development of Engineering Infrastructure at Katampe District, Phase 2, and
Ø Commissioned 300 housing units in Capital Estate, in Kaba District on Kubwa Express Road. The project was executed by Abuja Property Development Company Ltd. (APDC), to tackle FCT housing deficit and lay the foundation more.
In the Area of transpiration, you are already aware that we met the Light Rail projects at between 50 to 70 percent stages of execution. Today we have achieved 98 percent completion. Relief is on sight for city commuters. The Federal Executive Council has also given approval for the contract for award of Phase 2 of Abuja Rail Mass Transit (Lot 1B).
3.5 Street Lighting
FCT Administration has achieved significant restoration of street lights by procuring and installing 22 generators as backup for public power source. Payment to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) are now regular.
4.0 HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
4.1 Health and Human Services
On the health sector, the Administration has remained alert to the threat of diseases like Monkey Pox, Polio and other forms of epidemics. The administration has recorded the following milestones:
Ø Re-energised the drug revolving fund scheme with a total of N2.94 billion.
Ø Released over N350 Million towards the construction of the 220-bed Gwarimpa General Hospital almost abandoned some years back.
Ø Commenced the operation of Karu General Hospital as well as the Zuba Cottage Hospital for skeletal services, by providing the needed staff and provisions of necessary furniture, drugs and dressings.
Ø Completion of 1.2MW solar power project in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has reduced the cost of energy and introduced an e-payment system in FCT Water board to stem revenue leakages.
Major achievements recorded in the education sector include:
Ø Establishment of 5 new Secondary Schools in Kwali, Jikwoyi, and Abaji, and other areas. Combined, these schools are catering for the educational needs of 5000 students. We have also established several primary schools to cope with growth in FCT demography.
Ø Completed hostel blocks at Abuja University of Technology, Abaji as well as construction of clinic, provision of external works, access road, borehole, ground and overhead water tanks there.
Ø We have cconstructed 221 classrooms, 22 blocks of 4 compartments toilets, 7 Science/intro-tech laboratories, 3 boreholes, an administrative block, a library, and a volleyball court in various primary, junior and senior secondary schools in the FCT; as well as
4.3 Environmental Sanitation
We are placing huge emphasis on environmental sanitation. This began with a change in the management of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and improved funding of the Board’s activities.
Ø The Administration has deployed 11 units of Walking Floor Transfer Trailers (Mobile Waste Disposal Trailers) in very strategic areas like Airport Road and Garki International Market etc for on-the-go disposal of refuse.
Ø We have also launched the FCT Household and Community Sanitation Exercise Scheme in the Area Councils and Satellite Towns.
Ø Embarked on the desilting of major drainages and sewer lines that were clogged for more than 12 years now.
Ø Consequently, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council has been directed to transform the Airport Expressway into a modern driveway that would serve as a beautiful, refreshing and welcoming gateway to the city as in other great cities of the world.
5.0 ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIAL SAFETY-NET
5.1 The Administration has provided credit facilities ranging from N70, 000 to N2 Million to budding entrepreneurs as well as offered services such as business advisory, capacity building, assistance and sometimes with workspaces to needy ones.
5.2 The Abuja Enterprise Agency has keyed into the federal government’s Micro, Small and Medium, Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF). FCT accessed its own allotment of N2billion which it is disbursing to successful applicants at a very little or no collateral.
5.3 Under the fund, FCTA has established 2150 different enterprises. It has also promoted 250 cooperative societies, each of which has a minimum of 25 members. On the whole more than 4500 residents have been impacted.
5.4. Recently, I approved the setting up a One-Stop-Shopping-Centre for MSMEs in the FCT. The initiative is a major outcome of the Nationwide MSME Clinics in Abuja, in July organized in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President. This is designed to provide a single roof for all agencies like NAFDAC, CAC, SMEDAN etc, for easy access to business start-ups. This is by way of enhancing Ease of Doing Business in the Territory.
5.5 Likewise the Administration is taking the “One Village One Product” (OVOP) scheme of the Abuja Enterprise Agency round the whole Area Councils. This is designed to promote production and value chain on specific products where communities enjoy comparative advantage over others.
6.0 Job Creation
6.1 The Administration is employing 300 teachers and 94 fire officers. It had employed 20 Veterinary Doctors and 12 Animal Health Officers last year also. These were made possible by prudent management of resources despite the recession during the period.
7.0 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The FCT Emergency Management Agency attended to 338 fire calls and 25 rescue calls. 116 lives and property worth over N1.9Billion were saved. The agency has also enrolled 1,423 IDP children into FCT public schools’ systems: both primary and secondary.
8.0 REFORMS AND INSTITUTION BUILDING
8.1 Land Administration
8.2 Over 1800 copies of cleared Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O) have been signed and ready for collection. In the same vein, 451 Consents of Assignments and subleases have also been signed. On the whole, we are expecting nearly N4.00 Billion from these operations. Similarly, the functions of all FCTA departments central to the land administration have been reorganized and harmonized while the FCT Land Use and Allocation Committee has been reconstituted in line with the provisions of the Land Use Act.
9.0 SMART CITY PROJECT
9.1. FCTA good governance record has attracted recognition outside and today Abuja has been nominated as a beneficiary of 2017 IBM Smarter Cities Project. The Administration is working to leverage the technical support that comes with the grant. The technology would be deployed in main revenue generation agencies like AGIS, Waterboard, AEPB etc. This would facilitate customer interface and help check revenue leakages as well as create enabling platform for collection, monitoring and evaluation of revenue generation. Similarly, we have granted a free use of right of way to Messrs Galaxy Backbone to lay fibre-optic infrastructure through existing telecom ducts in the city. This will serve as a prelude to building the necessary infrastructure for the attainment of a Smart City status and the deployment of e-governance policy of the Federal Government.
9.2 FCT Administration in collaboration with the UNESCO and Samsung has an ongoing 3-month Information Technology boot-camp tagged “Youth Mobile.” This is for 400 youths and women from the FCT Area Councils. The programme is designed to build capacity of participants in the area of software designs as well as enable them to deploy IT to create their own businesses.
9.3 FCTA made a counterpart contribution of N66Million while UNESCO paid N33Million. Already, we have concluded review of the 2013 FCT e-health policy in line with the national e-health strategic framework. We have also achieved a higher computer penetration among teachers in our public schools where we have achieved 5,169 classmate Personal Computers deployed in 137 junior secondary schools, while 996 laptops have been deployed to 60 senior secondary schools.
10.0 AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
In the Agriculture sector, the following landmarks have been achieved:
Ø FCT Agricultural Development Project (ADP) continued to provide innovative advisory services on global agricultural best practice technologies to about 200,000 farming families.
Ø Over 20, 000 livestock were vaccinated in a two-week intensive vaccination campaign in the period under review.
Ø We have re-energized world bank assisted Fadama iii project with the registration of over 200 farmers. Success achieved during the implementation informed the decision of government to seek extension of the project period to December 2017 with an additional financing of N200 million. This is hinged on ramping up production and development of value chains on selected staple crops.
Ø FCTA has also bolstered its Prime Soil project in Piri, Kwali. 15,000 hectares was set aside for allocation to farmers at a modest fee. The project is receiving high patronage by prospective farmers.
11.0 STAFF WELFARE
The present Administration inherited a staff strength of over 28,000. Staff receive their salaries amounting to over N4.1Billion monthly on a regular basis, while allocation plummeted down to less than 2billion monthly from above 4.0Billion.
Ø FCT Staff Health Insurance Scheme has been fully funded with a total sum of N2.219Billion leaving us with a surplus of N1.817 Billion.
Ø Pensioners’ accrued right amounting to N3.956 Billion has been paid in the two years of the Administration.
Ø It also converted 25 buses for Staff Bus System and have conducted promotion exercises.
Ø It could also be recalled that it released N1.9 billion as bailout to Area Councils for payment of arears of salaries at inception of this Administration.
12.0 EYE ON THE FUTURE
You may all recall that I recently swore in FCTA Mandate Secretaries, (equivalents to State Commissioners). This signalled the commencement of the next phase of the Administration’s developmental initiatives marked by massive investments in infrastructure in the satellite towns and rural areas. Other areas of priority in this phase, would include education, health and deployment of smart city technology in FCTA business processes.
13.1 I would like to express my profound thanks to Mr. President for the opportunity of service granted me to lead the charge for the change agenda in FCT. I also convey my sincere appreciation to the residents of the Federal Capital Territory and indeed, the media, for their support and sacrifices as we work to realize the dreams of the founding fathers of the Federal Capital Territory.
13.1 Thank you all for your kind attention.