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page 29 Abandoned projects: Challenges before new FCT minister By Terkula Igidi & Abubakar Sadiq Isah Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in…

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Abandoned projects: Challenges before new FCT minister

By Terkula Igidi & Abubakar Sadiq Isah

Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in the world; at least that is what experts say, but satellite towns which make up the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are grappling with various developmental challenges, which will no doubt stare the new FCT minister, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Bello, bluntly in the face.

Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA) was created for the purpose of providing infrastructure to the satellite towns but following the transfer of (STDA) to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), as the Department of Satellite Towns Infrastructure (DSTI), the new department took over the engineering aspects of the satellite towns.

DSTI was established to function as a highly professional government establishment through the provision of efficient engineering infrastructure and to provide functional, efficient and cost effective services in all the satellite towns of the territory.

The statutory responsibilities of DSTI include, opening up and develop the satellite towns by providing infrastructural facilities to the teeming rural dwellers, thereby improving their living standards.

Besides, the department is saddled with the responsibility of providing basic amenities in the suburbs which would further reduce the pressure already existing on the capital city.

The department also has the mandate to develop and upgrade the satellite towns and develop linkages between the satellite towns and the Federal Capital City (FCC).

Apo/Karshi road

The Apo Karshi road project was awarded to an ingenious construction company since 2012, to be completed in 2014, under the administration of the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Bala Mohammed, through the director of Satellite Towns Development Authority (STDA), Engineer Tukur Bakori.

The road project had suffered delay, before it was later abandoned sometimes ago, a situation which Bakori, had attributed to lack of fund, even as he had also reiterated that the FCTA would receive N1.8bn intervention fund from SURE-P to complete the construction work.

Despite claims by the STDA that the sum of N1.8bn had been received in addition to the N13bn approved for similar projects across the Satellite Towns in the FCT, residents are suspicious of the genuineness of the handlers (Mangrovetech Nig. Ltd.) of the project, especially as there is little or no visible work on ground, particularly in Apo and Wassa villages.

Residents believe that when the project is completed, it would bring relief to commuters on the Nyanya-Maraba and Karu-Jikwoyi axis as it would ease movement in and out of the city centre.

Aso Chronicle learnt that the overall provision of infrastructure in Karshi which includes the construction of various classes of roads, the provision of a water supply distribution network, storm water drainage system, sewerage system, electric power supply and distribution, street lighting and telecommunication ducting, still stands at a mere nine per cent.

Kuje-Gwagwalada road

The Kuje-Gwagwalada road is one of the projects which has continued to suffer neglect under three previous administrations of Senator Adamu Aliero, Dr. Aliyu Moddibbo Umar and Senator Bala Mohammed.

The road links the south and eastern part of the country, which residents believe if completed would go a long way in easing traffic congestion on Abuja-Lokoja road.

The road project, which was later awarded by the immediate past minister of the FCT senator Bala Mohammed, immediately on assumption of office in 2012, to an indigenous company, (Craine Builders Engineering) company through the STDA has also been abandoned, after the contractor complained of non-release of funds.

Gwagwalada-Dobi-Izom road

The Gwagwalada-Dobi -Izom road is another road project which was also awarded under the past minister of the FCT Senator Bala Mohammed, to an indigenous construction company (Ndubueze Construction Company), but the road project, which was awarded since 2012, has continued to witness slow pace of work.

Even though one of the resident engineers of the Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA) Ibrahim Kangiwa, had, while fielding questions from journalists during a tour to the project in 2013, attributed the delay in the completion of the Gwagwalada-Dobi-Izom project to lack of funds, claimed that an initial amount given to the contractor was N779million out of N1.6bn.

Kangiwa had told newsmen that the next segment for completion was from Dobi to Izom, which he claimed a lot of culverts and stone base work had been carried out, assuring that what remained for the road to be completed was the asphalt that needed to be put on the road for it to be ready for use by Nigerians.

Reacting to the delay in completion of the road project, a former chairman of the Gwagwalada area council, Alhaji Zakar Angulu Dobi, who is now a member of the House of Representatives, had wondered how FCT administration would be complaining over lack of funds to complete the road project.

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