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HomeAbuja NewsLand swap: FCTA to save N1trn, says Bello

Land swap: FCTA to save N1trn, says Bello

The Land Swap programme of the FCTA is expected to save the Administration nearly N1trillion through the provision of infrastructure across the 13 districts earmarked under the initiative.

FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, while performing the ceremonial site hand-over of the Gwagwa District Development, said that the Administration adopted the Land Swap programme when it became obvious that the FCT Administration could not develop the FCT using its annual budgetary allocation alone.

In his words, “developing the city using the annual budgetary allocation is simply not possible now because of the way the city has grown astronomically in terms of physical expansion and a rising population.”

Recall that the land swap scheme was designed to bridge the infrastructure deficit in the FCT, was initiated by the previous administration in 2012, before it was suspended at the inception of the present administration in 2015.

However, performing the site handover last week, Bello said the commencement of the project signals the full resumption of the programme, six years after its suspension by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

The programme in its most basic form, the Minister explained, is to grant an agreed percentage of land to an investor for comprehensive development and in exchange for this grant, the investor is to provide both specified infrastructure as well as resettlement costs.

He also said that the programme is a ten-year comprehensive plan with four years meant for the provision of infrastructure. The programme will be driven 100% by the private sector and is to be carried out in strict compliance with the provisions of the Abuja Masterplan and also in accordance with the technical specifications and standards established by the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA.

The minister further disclosed that the ceremony was one in a series of initiatives that would be flagged off before the end of the Administration. “After this”, Malam Bello said, “We have others that we intend to do and each company is expected to meet all the strict criteria established with this initiative and these criteria is basically hinged on three factors: one, to protect the investors; secondly, to protect the off-takers who are going to be the ultimate beneficiaries, and thirdly, protect the government and the environment”.

In her address, the Minister of State of the FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu said, “the event is a testament to our commitment to the provision of critical infrastructure for FCT residents in line with the Presidential mandates for the Administration. This is also a bold step by the FCT Administration towards resolving the burdensome challenge of infrastructure funding through budgetary allocations”.

The Managing Director of Gwagwa Concessions, Mr Farouk Saleh, while presenting a symbolic key of the District to the FCT Minister promised that his company will deliver on the provisions of the contract for the development of Gwagwa District.

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