Reps Set To Probe FCT Land Swap Policy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Reps Set To Probe FCT Land Swap Policy

Posted: Jan 21, 2016 at 10:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
Rotimi Akinwumi
The House of Representatives Committee on FCT has concluded arrangements to commence investigations into the Land Swap policy of the Jonathan administration in the FCT  with a view to determining the effectiveness and otherwise of the policy, level of infrastructural development in the designated districts as well as benefits therefrom.
The committee is also set to determine the status of allotted but undeveloped plots of lands within Abuja metropolis as well as abandoned capital projects within the territory.
At the end of its assignment the committee will  make appropriate recommendations that will form the resolution of the House for onward transmission to the executive for consideration and implementation.
The policies were carried underr the watch of former FCT minister, Bala Mohammed.
The decision of the House to institute a probe into the activities of the last administration of the FCT was made public by Chairman of the Committee, Hon  Herman Hembe made after a closed door meeting with the FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello.
Hembe in his brief said: “The House passed a resolution mandating this committee to establish the status of undeveloped plots in high brows areas of Abuja with fully serviced infrastructure.
“The idea is for the committee to identify such plots and recommend what should be done with them”.
“You are aware that when you are given a land, you are also given the terms of development and time frame within which you are expected to develop the plot.
“Another issue is the issue of abandoned projects in the territory and to identify such projects and also find out why they were abandoned and suggest measures toward ensuring that such is not repeated again.
“I’m aware of about 840 hectres of land given to a private company, it was said that government couldn’t provide infrastructure for the development of the land and so, the company still possesses that property illegally.
“Another area is the Land Swap Agreement of the FCT with private developers. There are eight Districts where these land swap arrangements had taken place and we are going to look at all these areas in our investigation”, Hembe said.
He urged the media to provide support in adequate coverage of the committee’s investigation, adding that its only through media coverage that Nigerians can know what injustice and deprivation they have suffered in the hands of a few privileged Nigerians.
“We will put out notice for people to come forward and make inputs with the expectations that the media will also give us its support via proper coverage of our hearings.
“Most of the leg work will be done by members of this committee. The abandoned capital project that exist in the FCT are enormous. We will ask for the documents and we don’t think that should take more than a day or two in terms of the hearing.
“The Minister has promised to make relevant documents available to the committee”, he said.
Regarding the allotted and undeveloped plots in Abuja, the chairman said: “You find out that there’s a land around which other plots have been developed and it remains in the middle untouched, we can’t allow such gap to keep existing”.
On whether the committee is out to witch-hunt the past government as may be alleged by some individuals, Hembe noted that what’s wrong is wrong irrespective of who is involved.
“I was in the last House as a member of the PDP. But I can’t because of that say that what happens then was not bad”, he said.
He stressed that committee is also committed toward facilitating the development of satellite towns with a view to decongesting the city centre. And allow for even development of the territory.