How Wike changed landscape of FCT projects delivery in 9 months   

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By Philip Yatai, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Before President Bola Tinubu assumed the reins of governance, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, was faced with the challenge of abandoned projects.

The Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda was, however, expected to, among other things, complete ongoing projects and transform the FCT into a more habitable and economically vibrant city.

When Mr Nyesom Wike was appointed Minister of FCT in August 2023, he vowed to deliver on Tinubu’s mandate and administer the territory in compliance with the Abuja Master Plan.

According to him, it will be achieved through the establishment of an effective service-oriented administration that will respond to the needs of all residents and other stakeholders.

He noted that Abuja had witnessed foundation laying ceremonies of several structures worth billions, only to be abandoned midway or at advanced stages of their construction.

The minister, nicknamed ‘Mr Project’, particularly pointed out that some of the contracts were awarded in 2007, some in 2011, while others were awarded between 2015 and 2017, but all abandoned.

To turn the tide, the minister summoned all the contractors handling different projects in the FCT to a meeting to know what the problems were and how to get them back to site.

“Our problem is funding,” the contractors lamented assuring the Minister that they would get back to work if they were mobilised.

Eventually, Wike got most of the contractors back to site after agreeing on a payment plan with money from the FCT Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and budgetary allocations.

He equally introduced new innovations and enforced the payment of outstanding ground rents and other taxes in the FCT, a decision that increased the territory’s revenue generation significantly.

The minister also secured the approval of Tinubu to withdraw FCTA from Treasury Single Account, to enable the Administration to access funds from financial institutions to fund projects.

To ensure quality and timely delivery of the projects, Wike personally inspected the execution of the projects and kept the contractors on their toes.

Nine months later, the Wike-led FCTA has announced the completion of numerous projects some of which were pencilled for inauguration to celebrate Tinubu’s one year in Office.

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One of the completed projects is the construction of the official residence of the Vice President, which was awarded in 2010 but abandoned.

Another project was the rehabilitation of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) system, now ready for commercial operations, access roads to the train stations and parking lots.

Also completed was the extension of Inner Southern Expressway (ISEX) from the Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX) to the Southern Parkway, made up of 3.8km length of 10 lanes expressway.

The ISEX enables east-west movement on the southern flank of the city, linking the Abuja – Keffi highway.

The full scope development of the Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX) from Villa Roundabout to Ring Road 1 Junction, including four interchanges was also completed.

The OSEX is the primary road bounding the Federal Capital City (FCC) on the southern flank, connecting the city with the Kaduna – Abuja–Lokoja Federal Highway.

The project, being developed in phases, involves full scope development of about 6.7km of 10 lanes of the expressway from Villa Roundabout to Apo Roundabout.

The construction of the Southern Parkway from the Christian Centre to Ring Road 1 was equally completed.

The project consisted of the construction of 5.4 km length of the road, made up of two main carriageways of four lanes each, and two service carriageways of two lanes each, making a total of 12 lanes.

It also includes the construction of four interchanges, with eight bridges in addition to other facilities.

The Southern Parkway traverses the city centre, linking the outer fringes and inner portions of the city Expressways.

Also completed was the B6 (Constitution Avenue)/B12 (Independence Avenue) roads in Central Area, spanning from the Circle Road in the Three Arms Zone to the National Stadium, and linking the Central Area with the Airport Expressway.

Wike also completed the interchange bridge, linking Wuye and Wuse I District under the provision of Wuye District Infrastructure project.

The full scope development of the Arterial Road, N-20, from Northern Parkway (Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway) to Outer Northern Expressway (Murtala Mohammed Expressway) was also partly completed.

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The project involves the development of about 5.6 km of road with interchanges at Kubwa and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressways, made of two main carriageways of three lanes each, making a total of six lanes.

It also includes the construction of two interchanges with four bridges, in addition to other facilities.

The first phase of the road project, from ONEX/Murtala Muhammed Expressway to Arterial Road N11/Ahmadu Bello Way, covering 3.1km was completed and opened to traffic, while work was ongoing at the interchanges.

Another milestone of the Wike-led FCTA was the completion of the provision of engineering infrastructure to Guzape District Lot II.

The project consisted of the development of 30.80km roads, 33km underground stormwater drainages, and 53km underground foul drainages.

It also provided a 33.5km potable water supply network, 22 box culverts, one electrical power substation and 80 compact unit transformers.

Also provided, was a 163 km electrical cable network, 50km telecommunication ducts and construction of one fully equipped mini–sewage treatment plant.

Wike also completed the rehabilitation and resurfacing of existing roads Arterial Road Corridor (Abdul Rasheed Na’Allah Way), in Institution and Research District.

The projects provided access roads to some institutions and government agencies such as the Institute of Human Virology, Federal Medical Centre, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, National Open University of Nigeria, Body of Benchers, and some private institutions like Baze University.

Other completed projects included the renovation of the FCT minister’s residence in Life Camp and the construction of 11km access road from the Airport Expressway to Kuje Township.

The minister equally completed the resurfacing of 189 roads covering 57 km within the Abuja city centre.

He assured that other ongoing projects would be completed by December, before awarding another set of abandoned projects.

Some of the ongoing projects included the rehabilitation and resurfacing of 366 roads in Wuse, Garki, Asokoro and Maitama Districts, covering 117km.

Also ongoing are the rehabilitation of District Hospital Gwarimpa, Cottage Hospital Gwagwalada and District Hospital Utako, provision of access road to Kabusa Garden Estate, and Greater Abuja Water Supply Project.

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The construction of one Service Carriageway of Inner Northern Expressway from Ring Road III to Ring Road IV, as well as120km rural roads across the six Area Councils were also ongoing.

Other ongoing projects include the rehabilitation of Federal Secretariat Phase I, and the rehabilitation of 19 public primary and secondary schools across the territory.

Wike said that the road projects, when completed, would position Abuja to compete with any city in the world in terms of road network.

He added that similar attention was being accorded to satellite towns and rural communities in terms of roads infrastructure.

He, however, noted the challenges of funding and corruption, affecting the delivery of development projects in the territory and assured that steps were being taken to address them.

Reacting to the development, road users and residents described the feat as unprecedented.

“I have been living in Abuja for 16 years but never witnessed a speedy delivery of road projects until Wike happened.

“Look at the road to Asokoro from Apo, which was under construction for several years, but Wike delivered it in just eight months,” said a resident, Mr Andrew Moses.

Similarly, Mr Shuabu Yunusa, a taxi driver said, “It is now seamless going to Asokoro from Apo. The Tinubu-led administration is really working and deserved our commendation.”

In the same vein, Mr John Moses, a motorist, said that the improved road networks have made driving around the city so smooth and fast.

“This means less fuel consumption and more money in our pockets,” Moses said.

Stakeholders, however, insisted that while due attention was being given to infrastructural development in the FCT, a similar gesture should be extended to human capital development and poverty reduction.

This, according to them, will ensure a dual development of the city and the human capital needed for sustainable and inclusive growth and development of the FCT. (NANFeatures)

** If used please credit the writer and News Agency of Nigeria.

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Mashood
Mashood
16 days ago

Great effort. Well done to the FCT Ministet

Abdullahi Abdul-Wahab Ayodele
Abdullahi Abdul-Wahab Ayodele
16 days ago

Nigerians need to be patient with leaders, things are truly hard but it can get better, Wike is a human being, he can’t be perfect, well done, minister Wike

Ilya Abubakar
Ilya Abubakar
15 days ago

Tell your so-called Super Minister to pay indigenous Consultants and Contractors for their services. He has been just picking and choosing who to pay his preferred ones. Payment files have been in FCT CPO for over 6 months, and are yet to be paid. A National Disgrace. Those Wike owes are not his bankers. Pay your debts

Chike MORONU
Chike MORONU
14 days ago

These roads were left by Buhari’s government for the 8years he was in power where Jonathan’s government left them, however no one wants to say the truth. The look if Abuja road and rail networks were Jonathan’s achievements. The Abuja metro phase 1 was 98% completed when Jonathan’s government left office. Buhari allowed decay to set in and vandals raided the rail lines removing the slippers though some of them were caught. Credit should be given according to proportion of work done.

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