The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has inaugurated a committee to be called the FCT Boundary Committee.
Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who inaugurated the committee on Tuesday, said the essence was to ensure peaceful co-existence of FCT communities and their contiguous states.
“As you may be aware, there are constant boundary disputes within FCT and its contiguous states. Some of these boundary disputes have existed since the creation of the FCT.
“The sensitive and volatile nature of these disputes may lead to serious ethnic/communal clashes if not properly handled by the FCTA, thus necessitating the reconstruction of the FCT boundary committee,” she said.
Speaking further, she stressed the importance of boundary issues, saying they were sensitive and had to be solved permanently as they affect people’s lives, property and interests and added that it was in view of its importance that the administration was making efforts to ensure that the lingering issues are cleared.
Terms of reference of the committee include to monitor trans-border relation with neighbouring states and between area councils within the state with a view to detecting areas of tension and possible conflict and take necessary measures to address them; to liaise with boundary committees of neighbouring states with a view to taking joint measures to promote inter-community relationships and to constantly evaluate the development needs of border areas and advise government accordingly.
Others are to serve and protect all boundary marks including beacons, angle irons or pillars of any nature in place for the purpose of demarcating boundaries, to encourage and promote joint community development ventures among border dwellers; to encourage negotiated settlement of boundary disputes and other related issues in preference to court action and to hold periodic meetings with neighbouring states’ boundary committees to facilitate mutual discussion of border related matters. The minister of state charged members of the committee to work expeditiously to deliver its mandate.
The committee has the minister of state as chairman, with members drawn from the State Security Service (SSS) and FCT Police Command. Other members are the director, survey and mapping; director, urban and regional planning; solicitor general, FCT legal services secretariat; chairman of all FCT area councils and the director, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), among others.