FCTA Incurs N150Bn Liabilities Over Land Resettlement, Compensation

By Akin Akande, Abuja

Since 1976 when Abuja was created as a city, the Federal Capital Territory administration has incurred as much as N150billion liabilities for resettlement and compensation of communities and indigenous settlers.

The liabilities came from partial resettlement, integration as well as total resettlement of indigenous settlers in the nation’s capital by past administrations over the years.

The Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Company (AIIC) Farouk Sani who disclosed this to journalists said the administration has learnt lessons from past mistakes and therefore introduced land swap policy to develop  10 districts in the FCT.

The pilot project of the land swap was last week launched by the FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed at Dalas Carraway district.

Under the land swap model, Sani explained that the FCT administration would not be burden by the cost of resettlement and compensation for the affected communities noting that the cost would be borne by the private investors.

He remarked that unlike under the government arrangement where resettlement and compensation take years to be implemented, the land swap model provides for the payment within one month even before the structures were removed.

The AIIC Coordinator said the FCT administration has instituted a town hall meeting between the FCT Minister and all the stakeholders to explain salient points about the land swap project.

He said that the criticisms that have continued to trail the policy might have been due to out right ignorance of what it is all about or total mischief from opposition parties hence the need for the town hall meeting.

He explained that only 11 districts have been developed in over 35 years of creation of Abuja which according to him was done solely by government.

Under the land swap arrangement, FCT administration is expected to provide land to private investors for provision of infrastructure and the investors are to pay for resettlement and compensation while developing the districts.

The project which involves 10 districts is expected to be completed in 2016.