By Philip Yatai
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced the audit and revalidation of over 1000 parks and recreational centres in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Mr Isaiah Ukpanah, Director, Department of Parks and Recreation, FCTA, stated this at the opening of a meeting with parks and recreation owners in Abuja on Thursday.
Ukpanah, who said that the exercise would last for the next three months, added that the department has also taken steps to reclaim and maintain all green areas to keep Abuja green.
He explained that the exercise was in line with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of the current administration to ensure that residents of the FCT got the best of services.
Ukpanah said that the move would ensure that all the operators of parks and recreation centres were operating according to the provisions of the FCT Park Policy, 2019.
The director explained that the policy provided guidelines for the operation and management of parks and recreation centers in the FCT.
Ukpanah disclosed that none of the over 1000 approved parks have been licensed to operate in line with the provision of the policy.
“This is why we are carrying out the auditing and revalidation of the parks to ensure that all operators operate in accordance with extant laws.
“After the exercise, those whose parks meet minimum requirements will be issued an operational license while those below standard will be taken down.
“There is also the issue of parks inspectors as provided for in the policy to maintain order in the parks,” he said.
The director said that the department would write to the appropriate authorities to seek clearance to recruit the officials who would serve as park inspectors and safeguard green infrastructure.
Ukpanah that the policy classified different aspects of green in the FCT – nursery, open space green strips, road reservations, buffers and stream valley among others and designated for green conversation.
He, however, said that there was some violation of green areas, particularly commercial activities taking place in the green areas which must be reclaimed and restored.
The director said that the department would introduce economic trees that can add to food supply in the city, adding that planting of palm trees had already commenced.
“We have made necessary provisions to water our grasses, plants and trees to keep them green all year round,” Ukpanah said.
On his part, Mr Ahmodu Abechi, President, Parks and Garden Owners Association, FCT, thanked the department for the initiative and promised maximum support to ensure the success of the exercise. (NAN)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani