Wike announces plan for 10,000 mass housing unit by FCTA


…calls for revenue harmonisation, tougher punishment for vandals

By Ukpono Ukpong

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has criticized the steep cost of housing in the territory, highlighting how some entrepreneurs, who received free land for mass housing projects, instead subdivided and sold plots at inflated prices.

To address this, the FCT Administration plans to initiate the construction of 10,000 affordable houses in the upcoming budget cycle, aiming to benefit low-income earners.

Wike, revealed this in his address yesterday during the Ministerial Sectoral Update to mark President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office.

“In our next budget, we want to build a Renewed Hope City. This is for affordable houses, not for the big men.

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“We are going to provide infrastructure, build and allocate the houses to the poor. We have in our mind to build 10,000 houses for the poor”, he stated.

Speaking further, he revealed the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) plans to end harassment of motorists and business owners by touts employed by area councils for revenue collection.

Additionally, he called for collaboration with Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to centralize revenue collection, aiming to curb double taxation and reduce harassment by touts.

Wike also hinted on plans to form a committee with area councils to streamline revenue collection, reducing touting and double taxation.

“How many months have we been in office it is just nine months and we cannot solve all the problems at the same time.

“Harassment by touts because of revenue collection and others. We have called and sat down with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) group, that the only way to allow decency in the collection of revenue, is that we have to sit with them, form a committee and have an account where the revenue comes to the FCT and they collect their own share.

“By doing so, that way you will reduce touting and harassment, and the double taxation and they have agreed. After all, the law allows them to take 10 percent of our IGR, why are they afraid?

“So, allow FCT to do it, so that we can avoid double taxation and harassment by touts. One of the things in the city, is that everybody wants to survive, so you find some of these elements from time to time. But, bear it in mind that it is part of our responsibility that we are going to ride them off, but it cannot be immediately.”

Wike also emphasized the need to address distortions of the Abuja masterplan, pledging to take action against unauthorized structures.

Additionally, Wike also urged the National Assembly to toughen laws against vandalism, citing instances like streetlight theft, where current penalties are insufficient deterrents.

“There is no tussle between the Federal Housing Authority, FHA and FCTA. FCTA gave the land to FHA and all the houses are under FHA. However, FCTA have the right to oversight function to ensure that development is in line with the master plan and when I came on board, I set up a committee and to ensure that all those that have distorted the master plan to be fished out.

“If you build for residential but convert to residential then you revert back or we bring it down. You cannot be a leader without stepping on toes, what is important is your coincidence are you doing the right it or not.

“Take for example, the issue of streetlights, today you put streetlights, tomorrow night, it is no longer there. What happened? They vandalise them, they go and cut off the cables.

“You arrest them and go and prosecute them. What does the law say on conviction, N10,000. So, they continue and we have told the National Assembly that they must come to our aide by amending and reviewing the law to make it very tough as to discourage vandals from vandalizing our infrastructures” he added.

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