The President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has on Thursday at the Waru District of the Federal Capital Territory, performed the groundbreaking of the Land Swap Districts, describing it as a laudable policy, which works towards the total exit of government funding from commercially viable public infrastructure
The President, speaking through Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, noted that the initiative which was Private Sector driven would not only provide the much needed infrastructure in the capital city, but would also free funds for the FCT to channel in other critical human developmental activities.
“This laudable policy works towards the total exit of government funding from commercially viable public infrastructure. This means that with the Land Swap, government can do more for the people, boost private sector investment and prudently apply its funds to other demanding needs, all in one swoop. This is revolutionary and beneficial. This is transformation at work.”
Dr. Jonathan observed that the policy would also provide impetus towards meeting the infrastructural needs of the country as contained in the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, which requires a total investment of $3 trillion over a period of 30 years (2013-2043), of which the FCT requires about 2.6 trillion naira in the next four years.
President Jonathan eulogized the private sector for keying into the initiative, assuring that government would continue to promote a vibrant private sector that would create competitive advantages in the face of rapidly increasing globalization.
He particularly commended the original inhabitants of the FCT for “their accommodating spirit, and capacity to live in peace and harmony with all Nigerians who reside in, and visit Abuja for work, businesses or other legitimate activity.”
The Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed said the Policy was based on the FCT providing land in exchange for investment in the city, adding that an agreed percentage of land is given to a developer in a Greenfield district to provide engineering infrastructure in line with the FCT strategic plan.
Senator Mohammed said towards this end the FCT was partnering with 15 investors to provide engineering infrastructure, in the two sectors of Phase IV, adding that it was expected to provide additional housing for more than 1,000,000 residents, over 1500 jobs and covers a total area of 3886 hectres.
The FCT Minister said infrastructure to be provided included the construction of agreed kilometres of roads, Storm Water Drains; Foul Water Drains; Water distribution lines; Street Lighting Lines; Electrical Power distribution lines; telecommunication ducts; mini Sewage Treatment Plants as well as the payment of resettlement and compensation costs by the investors.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, described the initiative as the biggest and boldest in the history of the country, adding that the project was a game changer, while Alhaji Musa Dangogo Aliyu, speaking on behalf of the investors, pledged their commitment to making the initiative a success story.
Other speakers at the event, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Philip Aduda and the Deputy Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on the FCT, Hon. Raphael Igbokwe, including the Chiefs of Garki and Jiwa, Alhaji Usman Ngakupi and Alhaji Idris Musa, all lauded the initiative.
FOR: UMAR SANI (SSA MEDIA AND PUBLICITY TO THE VICE PRESIDENT)