Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has disclosed that the Administration “is setting machinery in motion towards harnessing the benefits of the recently concluded World Urban Forum in Malaysia.”
The Minister made the disclosure recently when the Programme Manager, UN Habitat, Malam Kabir M. Yari, paid him a courtesy visit.
Bello revealed that the administration would also explore the option of signing an MoU with the organisation to formalise their relationship towards issues of urban renewal and slum upgrading.
He also indicated that the Administration is willing to have a formal arrangement with the United Nation agency for staff trainings on how to surmount the challenges of running a modern capital city.
The Minister, who also revealed that his recent trip to Malaysia with other key officials of the FCT Administration opened his eyes to so many difficulties confronting other modern capital cities, said urgent steps must be taken to address some of the challenges already bedevilling the FCT “before they become entrenched.”
He called for support of the UN Habitat in tackling the issue of squatter settlements along the airport road that were already spilling into the major gateway into the city with attendant negative implications.
Bello said advocacy and outreach programmes should be channelled to “these communities to enlighten them on the need to limit their activities within the stipulated boundaries, pending their eventual upgrade or relocation.”
“As an administration, we don’t want to use highhanded tactics because they are old fashioned now. We need to contact them, we need to communicate with them and I believe this is where UN Habitat can be of help to us. On the service lanes, you see the villagers driving against traffic on high speed with motorcycles with no helmets,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Yari said the delegation was in Abuja to see how they could collaborate with the FCT Administration, as well as assist them to move beyond words to practical actions.
Yari, while conveying his delight over the effective participation of the FCT Team at the recently concluded World Urban Forum in Malaysia, said the delegation was in Abuja to “see how we can collaborate with the FCT Administration, to move resolutions reached at the Forum beyond words to practical actions.”
Both Yari and Bello resolved that “Abuja is in a better position to arrest urban sprawl and degradation because most of the challenges here have not been rooted like in other places, especially the cities of Latin America and some of the Asian cities.”
Yari, while commending the Administration for “sponsoring so many of its officials to participate in the activities of the UN Habitat,” welcomed the idea of “a technical committee that will establish how the two organisations could tackle the challenges of developing the FCT.”