Nyesom Wike, new minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday vowed to clean-up the country’s capital, threatening to demolish all illegal structures while giving warning against cow movement in Abuja.
Wike who spoke at his maiden news conference as he assumed office immediately after the swearing-in of the 45 new ministers by President Bola Tinubu vowed to sanitize Nigeria’s capital city and restore its master plan.
While announcing the short, medium, and long term plans to overhaul the FCT and reposition it among the best cities in the world, the new minister said he will prioritize infrastructure development; demolish all illegal buildings and structures.
He also unveiled plans to restore mass transit in Abuja, improve revenue to provide more infrastructure, improve security and ensure proper waste management, among others.
According to him, “It is not going to be business as usual. Those distorting Abuja Master Plan, if you build where you are not supposed to, the building will go down. If you build on a green area, sorry, it will go down. Those who were allocated land and refused to develop them, we will revoke such lands and re-allocate them to those who are ready to develop them”, he warned.
“Those who don’t pay ground rent, we will not notify them to do so, but I will not be tired of signing revocation notices, uncompleted buildings that have become a safe haven for criminals will be reclaimed by the government and put to good use”, he further said.
The minister added that the government would no longer tolerate the indiscriminate operation of markets and motor parks by the roadside.
He said that people selling goods and wares under the umbrella by roadside, illegal motor parks and bus stops would no longer be tolerated, adding that they constitute part of the security challenge in the FCT.
“If you have a brother, sister, or uncle involved in any of these, please tell him that the time is up. The goal is to sanitise Abuja and make it safe for everyone,” he said.
He also said that efforts would be made to strengthen waste management and restore all traffic lights to keep the city clean. He added that motorcycle and tricycle operators would be banned from the city and put an end to open grazing within the capital city.
“We will consult with stakeholders, the natives, and herdsmen to address some of these problems, including open grazing. We will provide alternatives to reduce the suffering of the people, particularly those without private vehicles.
“We will bring back mass transit to improve access to public transportation, and therefore, the person in charge of transportation must keep his record clean,” he said.
He said that emphasis would be placed on infrastructural development, taking one project at a time to restore the city to its glory.
The minister said that development would also be extended to the six Area Councils as part of strategies to decongest the city.
He also said that all revenue leakages would be blocked to be able to mobilise the needed resources for infrastructural development in the FCT.
On security, Wike said that he would work with all security agencies in the FCT and provide them with necessary tools and logistics to rid the city of all criminals.
According to him, FCT is supposed to be the safest city in the country, adding however, that the city is no longer safe.
“We will provide security agencies with necessary tools and logistics and after that, we will not want to hear any excuses. What we want to see is results.”
Wike also promised to consider the natives in political appointments with a view to carry everyone along. He solicited the support of all stakeholders, including the media to restore the confidence of the people on President Bola Tinubu-led administration drive to give people hope.