The Federal Government has approved $470 million for the execution of the Greater Abuja Water project, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, said on Saturday.
Mr Bello made this known during a media briefing as part of events to commemorate two years in office of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had approved the money for the project.
The minister explained that the Karshi water works would soon start to boost water supply in the FCT.
He said that his administration had trained over 12,000 staff in an ongoing training exercise that was expected to focus on three areas including effective service delivery, discipline and prudent resource management.
Mr Bello said that his administration ensured that senior staff that has remained on same job for many years were given the opportunity to experience other areas of the government.
He explained why his administration had not made land allocations since inception, saying “barely two years I have resolved about 500 pending land issues.
“In the past, we saw up to four or five people contesting for one piece of land.
“Past FCT Administrations fell under intense pressure, which I am also facing, in order to allocate land, making them fall into the trap of multiple allocations, and even some without layouts.
“I have been under tremendous pressure to allocate land but because of the mistakes of the past, whereby land allocated to A was also allocated to B and so on.
“I have withstood huge pressure in similar direction, but was, however, considering land allocation where there were layouts,” Mr Bello said.
Mr Bello said that Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, had been able to dislodge a land racketeering group that used to operate in Area 11, near the Abuja Geographic Information Systems, AGIS, head office.
On Abuja light rail at 93 per cent completion, Mr Bello said that the process for the procurement of coaches for the rail was fast going, adding that installation of signalling equipment were almost completed.
He said that test-running of the rail was expected to end this year, adding that rail transportation would commence in the FCT early 2018.
The minister added the approval for the extension of the rail line to Kubwa and Wuse has been given.
According to him, institutional framework for the FCTA had been strengthened, adding that not only to ensure effective service delivery, but to also maintain institutional memory.
Mr Bello said that he deliberately allowed the bureaucracy to work so that the management staff will no more rely on the mentality of having to wait for directives on everything from a minister.
“We decided to strengthen the bureaucracy by allowing the civil servants to work.
“When ministers come with their political appointees and are gone, there is no institutional memory that is why we spent a lot of resources on training staff,’’ he added.
On traffic light and facility maintenance within the city, Bello appealed to the residents to stop cannibalisation.
He said that it was a major hindrance to ensure bright city at nights as well as 24-hour functional traffic lights across the city.
The minister, therefore, tasked the media to help in sensitising the public, adding that government alone could not do everything.
While appealing for patience and cooperation of the people, Bello stressed the need to make Abuja bright at night, not just for aesthetics also for security purposes.
On Apo-Karshi road, “I personally thought that by now, this road would have been completed but we are working on it seriously and by the grace of God, it will be done’’.
Mr Bello added that the road was meant to terminate in the bush has been extended to terminate at Wasa.
Mr Bello assured the residents that his administration will not demolish anyhow, adding that he would rather prefer the global best practice of upgrading and integration where infrastructure would be put in place for the people.