FCT Parks Are Not Private Property – Minister

Source: EWACHE AJEFU- ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, August 24, (THEWILL) - All the Parks and Recreational Gardens in Abuja are public property and therefore belong to the entire residents of the Federal Capital Territory.

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed dropped this hint while receiving the leadership of the National Association of Parks and Gardens Operators of Nigeria that paid him a courtesy call in his office.

The Minister insisted that the Parks and Gardens are recreational facilities that must be seen as a social service to the people.

Senator Mohammed reiterated that the parks must be run in tandem with international practices; noting that the FCT Administration is not against any park operator but merely enforcing the guidelines in public interest.

According to him, the FCT Administration is not criminalizing the operation of Parks in the Federal Capital Territory but ensuring that things are done in consonance with the stipulated guidelines.

The Minister remarked that the whole arrangement would have been better through corporate organizations by bringing in the financial institutions to plough back into the system what have been tapped from it.

Senator Mohammed emphasized that the FCT Administration will not fold it arms and allow Park operators violate the laws; stressing that due process must be followed.

His words: "The operations of Parks and Gardens in the Federal Capital Territory must be in tandem with World practices."

He urged the association to embrace dialogue rather than taking cases to Court for peace to reign in the Federal Capital Territory and therefore advised that their pending case in Court be withdrawn.

The Minister enjoined the Association to articulate their contribution and present same to the Ministerial Committee on Operation/Management of Parks in FCT being chaired by Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe.

The Minister recalled that the Committee was inaugurated on Friday July 9, 2010 to holistically look into the operation and management of parks in the Federal Capital Territory.

Speaking earlier, the Secretary of the Association who led the delegation, Mr. Jimmy Ineke promised to partner with the FCT Administration to take the operation of the Parks to the next level.

He claimed that the Parks were developed through personal efforts.