By: Ben Ukeji & Wisdom Acka
As part of engagements with stakeholders in the FCT, the Federal Capital Territory Administration met with the FCT Council of Traditional Rulers to espouse some of the ongoing efforts of the government to address the cost-of-living challenges occasioned by the recent abolition of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)
The engagement is to demonstrate government desire to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal on petroleum product and the subsequent hardship being experienced by residents, which the Federal Capital Administration (FCTA), is working assiduously to alleviate the suffering being felt by the residents.
A statement from the Director, Information and Communication, FCT, Muhammad Hazat Sule, indicates that arrangements are at the finalization stage to access the palliative measures that have been put in place by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government.
The statement indicated that the Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mr. Olusade Adesola, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Chairmen of the six Area Councils and FCT Graded Council of Traditional Rulers, stated that the Administration has subscribed for 20,000 of 50kg bags of rice, maize, and millet, which will be made available in a couple of weeks through various distribution channels including the Area Councils and Chiefdoms at discounted rates to residents.
Also, the Permanent Secretary assured that the details of the implementation arrangement of the newly approved policy of the students’ loan scheme introduced by Tinubu’s Administration to support the education of students in Tertiary institutions across the country will be provided and made available for all in FCT to enable residents to benefit.
According to him, the FCT Administration has put in place mechanisms to rehabilitate the vandalized Abuja Light Rail tracks, to provide commuters with alternative and affordable means of mass transportation.
Adesola said, these are parts of the approaches adopted by the FCT Administration to provide some relief to residents from the hardship of transportation cost, which has skyrocketed since the removal of fuel subsidy.
He said that the Abuja Light Rail would have since been in operation, but for the wanton vandalization of rail tracks and equipment during the COVID-19 lockdown period; disclosing that the FCT Administration has secured approval for the rehabilitation of the rail system.
His words: “The FCT Administration has concluded plans to flag off the rehabilitation of the rail tracks, and it is expecting the contractor handling the project to complete the job between 6-9 months to recommence commuting services from Bazzango – Kubwa – Metro station at the Central Business District as well as the Airport to the Metro.”
Adesola revealed that the FCT Security Committee in its last meeting, directed the Abuja Urban Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO) to immediately revive its fleet of buses and return them to service.
Speaking further, the Permanent Secretary appealed to the FCT residents to show understanding with the government; saying that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration in all his policies so far enunciated are intended for the greater good of the majority of the citizenry.
He, therefore, urged the Traditional Rulers in FCT to propagate the good intentions and the various interventions of the Government to the grassroots.
In their collective response through the Agoma of Kuje, the FCT Council of Graded Traditional Chiefs expressed appreciation for the information provided.
They applauded the various initiatives of the Government to address the hardships in the land and assured that the message would be appropriately disseminated in their various domains.
While acknowledging the modest improvement in security in the FCT, the Traditional Chiefs call on the Administration to intensify efforts in addressing the menace of kidnapping, which has prevented many from going to the farm.
The Permanent Secretary commended the Chairmen of the Area Councils and the graded Traditional Rulers for maintaining peace and tranquillity within their domains and assured them of the Administration’s support.