Nyesom Wike, the minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has committed to recoup over N34 billion that is owed to the FCT administration.
Wike made the vow while speaking to members of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee to Investigate Failure of Mass Transportation in Nigeria, during a working visit in his office, yesterday.
The minister warned allottees owing the administration ground rents to either pay or have their property revoked and reallocated to those who could pay.
“I have calculated the debt of nonpayment of ground rent, which is about N34 billion and I am going to collect all of those back. I don’t care, all I want is for the rent to be paid.
“We will be publishing on Thursday for all those who are meant to pay their ground rent. They will be given the grace of two weeks to pay.
“Whoever doesn’t pay, I’ll revoke it and give it to whoever will pay so that the necessary services will be rendered. People want to live in a beautiful city but don’t want to pay their dues which is impossible,” he said.
According to him, he would tie projects to IGR so that contractors would be paid yearly and projects would no longer be abandoned.
The minister while reacting to why Lagos was succeeding in public transportation but Abuja was not, explained that Lagos is a state while the FCT is like a State and that budgetary provision for the FCT was poor.
“Our budgeting system is too poor, so how will it work? we will require your help too. Thank God I am the one to supervise this year’s budget. We will come to you, please don’t pursue us,” he said.
While speaking on the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company (AUMTCO), he said the truth of the matter is that he is going to overhaul the entire system.
He disclosed that N2 billion was approved for palliatives by President Bola Tinubu for FCT in the federal government’s subsidy programme and that his concern was transportation.
The minister lamented that AUMTCO buses were being loaned out for other uses without maintenance because people think that government business is not their business.
Wike also hinted at the formation of a cabinet next week for people to take charge of the affairs.
The minister, while condemning the proliferation of abandoned projects in FCT, revealed that the FCT was owing contractors about N1 trillion for the projects, stating that he would not initiate new ones.
“You must do what you can at a time, and leave those you cannot for other governments. Everyone is a problem. We do our own, you do your own, and everyone does his own,” he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee, Afam Victor Ogene stated that his committee visited the minister to find solutions to mass transportation in the country and FCT after over N16 billion had been put into it.
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