The newly sworn-in FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has assumed office with a pledge to restore the lost glory of the nation’s capital.
In his maiden media briefing after taking oath of office, the immediate past governor of Rivers State, said his administration would specifically work hard to restore the city’s master plan according to the mandate he was given by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In restoring the master plan, the new minister said illegal buildings would have to go and he is ready to step on toes in the process.
He said: “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.
“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 safe haven for criminals will be reclaimed by the government and put to good use.”
The minister also stated that government would no longer tolerate the indiscriminate operation of markets and motor parks by the roadside.
He said people selling goods and wares under the umbrella by roadside, illegal motor parks and bus stops would no longer be tolerated, adding that they constituted 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.
Wike also said 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 an end put 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.
The minister said emphasis would be placed on infrastructural development, taking one project at a time to restore the city to its glory.
He said development would also be extended to the six area councils as part of strategies to decongest the city.
He also said all revenue leakages would be blocked to be able to mobilise the needed resources for infrastructural development in the FCT.
On security, Wike said he will work with all security agencies in the FCT and provide them with necessary tools and logistics to rid the city of criminals.
According to him, the 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 carrying everyone along.