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FCT reels under heavy toll of the absence of key officials - Nigeria News - Talk Africana

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FCT reels under heavy toll of the absence of key officials by Mr Nice : 12:1 am On 8 Aug 2016
These were the words of President
Muhammadu Buhari, November 11, 2015,
when he swore-in his cabinet.
One of the Ministers was Malam
Muhammad Musa Bello assigned to the
Federal Capital Territory Administration,
FCTA. Though he is a Minister, the case of
Bello is different because Abuja is not a
ministry because its administration,
structure, composition is like that of a state.
Following the dissolution of the Ministry of
the Federal Capital Territory, MFCT, by the
then Minister and now Kaduna State
governor, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai, during
former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s
administration, the Federal Capital Territory
Administration, FCTA , was created on
December 32, 2004.
It became imperative to abolish the then
MFCT because it was faced with the
challenge of being a cross between a
ministry and a state, even as functions were
then duplicated across departments, manual
while systems enabled corruption
The establishment of the FCTA allowed the
FCTA to focus more on its mandate and this
led to the creation of the five mandate
secretariats namely: Education; Health and
Human Services; Agriculture and Rural
Development; Social Development and
Transportation. Area Council Services
Secretariat was later established to take
care of the administration of the six Area
Councils in the FCT: Abuja Municipal Area
Council, AMAC; Abaji; Bwari; Gwagwalada;
Kwali; and Kuje.
Also established were the Abuja
Metropolitan Management Agency, AMMA;
Satellite Towns Development Agency,
STDA; Abuja Investment Company Limited,
AICL, Abuja Environmental Protection Board,
AEPB; Abuja Tourism Development Board,
ATDB; Abuja Enterprise Agency, AEA; Abuja
Geographic and Information Systems, AGIS,
Abuja Technology Village, ATV; Abuja Traffic
Information System, ATIS, among others.
The FCTA also has five Common Services
Departments: Establishment and Training;
Legal Services; Treasury; Pensions and
Audit to promote planning, coordination,
staff capacity and work tools including
computerization and they all report to the
FCTA Minister through the Chief of Staff.
The mandate secretariats departments and
agencies help to provide key services while
enhancing the administration of land and
the master pan.
The FCTA Minister, Bello, has spent ten
months in office, yet he has not appointed
his personal staff like the Chief of Staff
which is a strategic position in the day-to-
day running of the administration. The Chief
of Staff coordinates the staff for the
Besides the appointment of Special
Assistant to the Minister on Media, Bello
has only appointed a Special Assistant on
Administration. In the case of the Mandate
Secretariats, there is no political
appointment so far.
The delay by the FCTA Minister to make key
appointments has continued to take a heavy
toll on the running of the FCTA.
Undoubtedly, the absence of the Chief of
Staff, Special Advisers and secretaries for
the mandate Secretariats has impacted
negatively on the Bello administration.
Without the key officers, there is pressure
on the Minister in the discharge of his
duties. He should learn from his
predecessors, El- Rufai, Aliyu Modibbo Umar;
Adamu Aliero and Bala Mohammed who put
in place these structures immediately after
they came to office.
With the key appointments, the Secretaries,
who are politicians and function as
Commissioners as obtained in states, will
take decisions on behalf of the Minister,
prepare memoranda and present at
executive meetings every Monday at Life
The current Acting Secretaries in the
mandate secretariat have no powers to
approve certain projects and policies
because they are civil servants. Sensitive
files that require urgent action are minuted
to the Permanent Secretary who will
eventually subject such files to civil service
bureaucracy. Civil servants respect the
Secretaries than Directors because they are
coming from outside like in the case of a
Minister or a Commissioner who has been
appointed to run the affairs of a ministry.
The Federal Capital Territory is gradually
going back the pre- El- Rufai days. Whn the
Minister has made the key appointments
and the appointees man the strategic
offices, he will have the time to go out and
see for himself how the FCT looks like.
It is not enough to sack the board of the
AEPB or to visit its Dump Site in Gosa,
Sewer Treatment Plant, Wupa, and the
proposed Waste Transfer Station at Mpape.
Bello needs to create more time to do a
follow up and, once he has the relevant
appointments in place, he will have time.
The Minister should go out and see for
himself how motorists struggle with Fulani
herdsmen who have turned the FCC into
grazing route.
Bello has not commenced proper work in
the Federal Capital City, FCC, not to talk of
the satellite towns which are begging for
As the Area Councils are also there, the job
would be much for the Minister because he
has no Minister of State unlike in the past
where the junior minister was in charge of
the Area Councils and some agencies of
Now that the budget of the FCTA has been
passed by the National Assembly, the
Minister needs to concentrate to work for
the people. www.vanguardngr.com/2016/08/fct-reels-heavy-toll-absence-key-officials/


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