House Rejects Relocation Of Federal Ministries To FCT Area Councils
ABUJA, July 20, (THEWILL) - The House of Representative Wednesday rejected a motion to compel the Federal Government to relocate some key government Ministries, Departments and Agencies [MDAs] located in the Federal Capital City centre, Abuja to other Area Councils to ensure sustainable development in the Federal Capital Territory [FCT].
The motion, which was sponsored by Hon. Godfrey Ali Gaya had urged the House to prevail on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, facilitate the expansion of some of the access roads as well as construction of inter-changes at different locations to ensure free flow of traffic into and from the City Centre among other prayers.
Gaya had while moving the motion decried the traumatic problems associated with traffic congestion being experienced daily by motorists and commuters on the three major access roads to the Federal Capital City.
He argued that motorists usually get stuck in traffic jam for long hours in a bid to go to their offices or get home when closing from work usually lasting between 6am to 1pm and 3pm to 11pm respectively on a daily bases.
“This situation results in the loss of man hours and negatively impact on the productivity of government business and slows down the national economy and the situation has become a threat to the security and sustainability of the country’s Federal capital,” he said.
However, the motion met stiff opposition from most members as some of the lawmakers who kicked against the move predicated their submissions on the grounds that relocation of the MDAs to the Area Councils would amount to waste of huge resources which could be channelled towards addressing other pressing services including the provision of Power, and roads construction.
In his contribution, Hon. Ahmed Idris argued that only an effective transport system would address the chaotic traffic gridlock being experienced by motorists and commuters in the capital city.
He contended that the financial implication for such relocation will be too enormous for the government to bear in view of other social services requiring urgent attention for the benefit of the people.
Also contributing, Hon. Kigbu Haruna argued that the transportation of goods and services in the nation’s capital was heavily dependent on the three major access roads to the federal capital city and expressed the need for the government to fix the rail transport system for the territory to reduce the traffic congestion on the roads especially during peak periods.
“Goods and services come to the city centre through the entry and exit points of Abuja. The FCT authorities must activate the rail system into Abuja, if this is done we will have less traffic congestion in the city. If we relocate the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies we will be making the running of government expensive,” he said.
Others who spoke against the motion lamented the distortion of the Abuja Master plan by successive administrations in the territory hence the city. They wondered what would happen to the existing structures when the MDAs are relocated to other area councils as being canvassed by the sponsor of the motion.
Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the plenary session however threw out the motion.