The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that used to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful cities in Nigeria, is fast becoming congested, with deteriorating inadequate infrastructure. Moreover, crime rate is seen to be on the increase as a result of this uncontrolled influx. From my investigations, I discovered that numerous people relocate into the city on daily basis, seeking greener pastures, fleeing from insecurity to the capital among other issues.
This influx has become a burden too heavy for the FCT, designed to be the first model city planned in Nigeria. With infrastructure taking the brunt of this influx, poor budgetary allocations have also not helped with the situation.
A social analyst, Simon Baba-Yerimah, lamented that the influx of people into FCT has continued to put pressure on the city’s infrastructure and has also created strong security challenges, causing worry to the residents of the capital.
“Apart from the security challenges, the influx posed to the city, the absence of necessary infrastructure has given room to open defecation, which most residents of FCT engage in.
“Also, with the uncontrolled influx of people to Abuja, without provision of jobs and other means of economic survival, some of the immigrants have resorted to self-help, by hawking things during the day on busy roads, while at nights we hear reports of thefts and car hijacks.
“This development has made some of us scared that with the militants having a stronghold in Kaduna, a state that has its border close to the FCT, it would be a matter of time before the FCT is overtaken by criminals. The authority needs to look into it, before it gets out of hand,” he said.
Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, while speaking on efforts to deal with the challenges, said FCTA is embarking on a programme to make FCT safe, and that the FCT Police Command is working on security of the city.
“We are also working on plans for at least 5000 affordable housing units. We have secured land across the FCT, 30 hectares of land in each of the six area councils. Sixty hectares are currently being developed at Karshi I, with another 30 hectares at Karshi II.
“We have taken cognisance of the need to provide basic infrastructural facilities for the growing population, giving priority to the issues of security, neighbourhood centres, schools and primary healthcare delivery facilities.
“The FCTA has a presidential mandate to ensure the development of standard infrastructures comparable to what is obtainable globally in the FCT.
“We also have comprehensive plans to complete works on the construction of 900 houses for Utako, Mabushi, Jabi, Jabi Akubo, and Jabi Sabo-Maji,” she said.