FG approves resumption of FCT land swap scheme - THE GUARDIAN
By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the resumption of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) land swap initiative which was begun under the previous administration.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, made the disclosure at the end of Wednesday’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The initiative worth about N1 trillion under the immediate past Senator Bala Mohammed-led administration was specifically designed to remedy the infrastructure deficit in the federal capital by swapping land with private investors who would in turn provide the necessary infrastructure.
Introducing the Land Swap Policy, Mohammed had told residents that the initiative involved granting Greenfield lands to real estate developers who would provide infrastructure such as roads, electricity, portable water, drainages, and sewer lines, communication ducts to residents without any financial or technical demand on the government.
Among other things, the policy was to generate substantial financial income for the country and provide employment to the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
However, the programme suffered a setback after the National Assembly faulted the scheme saying the initiative was a negation of the provisions of the original Abuja Master Plan as well as a misplacement of priority in the direction of the physical development of the city.
The House of Representatives had argued that if the programme is allowed to materialise, it would only succeed in creating development islands and brazen evidence of uncoordinated development as well as a hurried mortgage of the future of the Federal Capital City.
But, the minister who briefed newsmen after FEC on Wednesday, said the cabinet approved the resumption following a memo he presented to the council.
He said some amendments were made to the original form of the initiative by establishing a firm legal framework to protect all parties involved.