Federal government has approved the resumption of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) land swap initiative which was started by the previous administration.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa.
Recall that the initiative, put at about N1 trillion under the previous dispensation, was designed to remedy the infrastructure deficit in the federal capital by swapping land with private investors who would in turn provide necessary infrastructure.
The minister said FEC approved the resumption of the initiative following a memo he presented to the council.
He said some amendments were made to the original form of the initiative by establishing a legal framework to protect all parties.
Bello said: “Today, at the Federal Executive Council meeting, I presented a memo and an update on the FCT Land Infrastructure Swap Initiative at the council. And after a lot of deliberations, the Federal Executive Council approved the FCT Land Infrastructure Swap initiative, which is popularly known as Land Swap, which was started sometime ago by previous FCT administration.
“After a review of what has transpired over the years, and changes made, the Federal Executive Council approved that we now continue with the land swap initiative on the basis of amendments to the procedures as well as new safeguards introduced so that investors, the FCT, that is the government, as well as off-takers will be protected. So, this is what we discussed today.”
The FCT minister explained that the deal is an initiative between the FCT administration and the private sector which will ensure the provision of infrastructure to develop districts in the territory.
He said private investors will provide all the infrastructure within a particular district and then they will be paid for with land.
The minister added that idea of reviewing the agreement was to bring in “conditionalities that protects everybody, and all these are done based on the experience of the administration over the last few years regarding previous investments done particularly using the mass housing housing model, which, really in terms of size, is just a fraction of what we are talking.
“So, this is the whole essence, this is what we intend to start rolling out now based on the conditions approved to the effect.”
During his briefing, minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said he presented a note to the council on the need to be conscious of the increased number of road traffic crashes on federal highways, adding that the majority of accidents are not caused by bad roads.
He said the Lagos-Ibadan Highway, the Abuja-Kano Highway, and Abuja-Keffi-Lafia Highway, have the highest cumulative number of road accidents. The minister revealed that for the month of February, more people died of road accidents than COVID-19 and malaria combined.
He said the process to reduce road accidents in federal highways, including the installation of road traffic signs and more patrol, are ongoing.