The House of Representatives Committee on FCT yesterday commenced a public hearing to establish the FCT Wider Area Planning and Development Commission and FCT Security Trust Fund.
The committee chaired by Rep Herman Hembe (APC Benue), organized the public hearing on two bills titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the FCT Wider Area Planning and Development Commission and for other matters connected therewith and ‘A Bill for an Act to establish FCT Security Trust Fund and for other matters connected therewith.’
Hembe said the two bills came up for public hearing to give all stakeholders the opportunity to give their inputs on the proposed legislation.
Declaring the hearing open, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, called on the stakeholders to make meaningful contributions toward achieving the goals of the bills.
Sponsor of the first bill, Rep Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi (PDP Nasarawa), said the objective of the bill was to implement measures inclined to developing states bordering the FCT, namely: Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger, considered as wider areas.
He said the measures would serve as separate residential communities within commuting distance of Abuja Municipal Council
“The bill is aimed at establishing a commission that will be saddled with the responsibility of bringing development to the wider areas through the provision of basic infrastructure and social amenities that will bring about a certain level of urbanization,” he said.
The FCT, Permanent Secretary, Babatope Ajakaye, said the administration will consult widely on the two bills before coming up with a position to the committee, adding that they have constituted a panel on the second bill.
He said, however, that the ministry had submitted its position paper on two other bills on the FCT University of Agriculture and University of Technology to the committee.
“We want to appeal to the committee to give us time to go and look at the bill on wider area planning. We want to consult widely to understand it very well. The second one on the security trust fund, we already have a committee working on it. We’re interested in the two and we crave your indulgence to give us time,” he said.
Consequently, the panel adjourned the sitting to today to consider other bills before it, while a new date would be fixed to hear stakeholders’ positions on the two bills.