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Opening up new districts



Opening up new districts

As the ever growing population of Abuja continues to put pressure on existing infrastructure, the managers of the city are working hard to raise the bar in the provision of basic infrastructure in the city. CALEB ONWE reports

The passage of the 2017 budget of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) by the National Assembly may not have come as early as expected. But the administration appears to have hit the ground running. In its wisdom, opening up some new districts and providing basic infrastructure would get a great chunk of the budget.
Minister, Federal Capital Territory, Malam Mohammad Bello, recently inspected some ongoing projects at both the Guzape and Jahi districts of Abuja during which he expressed delight over the progress already made on the provision of basic infrastructure in these new districts.

Guzape was said to have been designated as Diplomatic Zone, Phase 2 following the congestion of the first Diplomatic Zone located in Garki District.
Jahi district, a burgeoning cadastral zone has both commercial and residential status.
Bello, who expressed satisfaction that funds were being channelled to appropriate areas, however, lamented that the level of infrastructure development in most districts was not commensurate with the housing development, as many plot owners have gone ahead to develop their properties even with the low level of infrastructure development.

“This is something that requires us to really sit down as stakeholders, not just the FCT Administration but all developers to reappraise the trend. The development of the city by mere allocation of plots without giving due cognizance to costing and providing funding for infrastructure does not help the city and that’s why you see the city has so many districts with hundred per cent completed houses without infrastructure,” he said.

According to the minister, infrastructural development was taking so much from administration’s budget and he might be compelled to seek alternative funding.
He disclosed that the huge cost required for provision of infrastructure was slowing down the pace of work in these new districts.
Inside Abuja also learnt that the huge cost of infrastructural development in the territory was creating a situation where the administration may likely task those in mass housing development to begin to contribute more towards provisions of basic amenities.

Bello called on critical stakeholders to get more involved in funding of infrastructural development, especially those that have been given allocation at different locations for the development of mass housing. He therefore called for intervention from estate developers and other critical stakeholders, to support government in facilitating the provision of such basic facilities.
“The cost of infrastructural development in FCT is becoming too much. As you can see, people who were allocated lands 15 years ago have not developed their plots, because they are waiting for government to provide roads and other basic amenities.

“We are calling on stakeholders to begin to get more involved in the development, as government alone cannot fund it. It is coming to a stage where every plot will have to contribute to the demands of infrastructure. We have not really decided on that but that may be the alternative we shall be considering”, he said.

Managing Director, Gilmor Engineering, Eli Goldhar, said that Abuja deserved the best of infrastructure, though, the projects were capital intensive.
Goldhar said the company is doing three major areas, namely Areas 105, 109 and the Diplomatic Area in Guzape District, noting that even with zero allocation to the projects in 2016, the company has vowed to complete the project.

He explained that currently, work on the Diplomatic Area has reached an advanced stage, while most of the roads and all the underground services have been completed in the two other areas of 105 and 109.
He also disclosed that the Phase I of the project has been completed except for some few places where the second layer of asphalt has not been laid.

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