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FCT Minister Urged To Tackle Contract Fraud, Abandoned Projects



… As PWD community calls for special consideration

Federal Capital Territory FCT Minister Nyesom Wike has been urged to implement systems to tackle fraud in contract awards and abandoned projects littered in the territory.

The community of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the FCT has lamented difficulties in accessing public and private infrastructures and the impact of demolitions on its members.

Program Manager at Priests Peace and Justice Initiative, Dr Agbaji Orinya, led the call for the former Rivers State Governor to ensure transparency of contract awards and procurement in FCT during an anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development, PRIMORG, and Wednesday in Abuja.

Orinya, who stressed that corruption has continued to bedevil the development of public infrastructure of the FCT, however, identified issues of transparency in contract awards, project execution, poor service delivery by contractors, and embezzlement of funds in some instances as the bane of development of the nation’s capital and its environs.

He called on the FCT Minister to ensure adherence to the procurement process designated by the Law regarding contract variations. At the same time, she urged citizens to ask questions and hold leaders to account.

On what the FCT Minister must do to combat contracting corruption in FCT, Orinya said: “The Minister (Nyesom Wike) should put a system in place that will make corrupt transactions difficult. There should be a portal where people can verify what project is supposed to be in a particular area. There should be a proper evaluation mechanism, which will make them deliver projects.

“It’s about transparency and accountability. The public should know how much has been approved for a particular project. They (citizens) need to know the nature of each project within their environment so that they can ask questions.

“We have a procurement process – where you have to identify projects, plan projects, there is a process for approval and funding. Are we following this process in awarding contracts by law,” he questioned.

On her part, a Human Rights lawyer, Mary Musa, pleaded with Nyesom Wike and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to consider the plight of PWDs as demolition of buildings is expected to intensify under his watch.

Musa, who noted that PWDs are impacted heavily by systemic corruption, claimed that the PWD community in the Karonmajigi area of the FCT was not notified before the latest demolition of structures in the area, leaving many of them stranded.

“If we look at the precedent of the FCT Minister from River State, we know what he did regarding the physical environment. We are very optimistic, but we just want him not to give up, but consider especially persons with disabilities as the demolition is going on and as new structures are coming up in the FCT”.

She decried the failure of government and private establishments to comply with provisions of the Disability Act of 2019, hence urging the FCTA to make the territory accessible to PWDs.

“How many bridges in Abuja can you assess if you were in a wheelchair? Truthfully, how many road sidewalks can you assess if you were blind? How many buildings are accessible; even governments, buildings, how many are accessible,” Musa queried.

FCT residents who phoned into the radio program lamented the spate of abandoned projects and called for rapid development of the satellite towns, which would, in turn, decongest Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Recall Wike had recently condemned the abuse of contract variation in the territory, pointing out that the case of the Ushafa-Bwari Road contract, which was varied from N50 billion to N200 billion, is unacceptable. He also warned contractors handling projects and FCT’s team of engineers against contract variations.

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program PRIMORG uses to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.

The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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FCT news

Wike, NSCDC Commandant To Lead GBV Awareness Walk Saturday



Joel Ajayi

The Minister Of Federal Capital Territory Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, and other dignitaries will on Saturday lead the awareness campaign against gender-based violence and all forms of violence against humanity.

The awareness walk campaign was born out of poor reportage of the GBV in the capital city and needs urgent attention.

The advocacy which will kick start from the Saturday 25th of November to the 10th of December.

Speaking during a meeting with On Air Personalities (OAPs), influencers, and media personalities on Thursday in Abuja ahead of the 16 days of activism against GBV with the theme “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children’’ the pioneer Mandate Secretary for Women and Children Affairs in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs Adedayo Bejamins-Laniyi said FCT minister himself and other important personality in the country will lead the walk Ezenwo come Saturday.

She expressed her displeasure over the low or poor report of cases of gender-based violence in the Nigeria Capital city.

According to her, every one of the gender mainstreaming directions and objectives of the mandate for FCT women, adolescent girls, children, and PWDs within the classification of vulnerable groups is a targeted index for intervention and subvention.

“This will bring critical rescue to circumstances that have implicated their state of being and the rights of livelihood, life, safety, and security,’’ she said.

Benjamins-Olaniyi emphasized that the history of atrocities against women is a heist that brought about women having to bite, urging OAPs and reporters to always balance their reports as it concerns GBV.

She further explained that the 16 days of activism against GBV with the theme “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children’’ will begin on Saturday.

“We are going to have a walk; dignitaries like the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, the Commandant of the NSCDC, and others will be leading the walk.

“Also, the distinguished Sen. Ireti Kingibe has come out with an incredible `Orange Nigeria Project’. She wanted all of us in the gender field to create a movement and to work together.

“So our `Orange FCT Cloud’ will be flowing into the Orange Nigeria Project of the FCT, and as we do this, it is a non-partisan, non-tribal, non-political, non-religious, and non-gender agenda.

“It is just a message,” she said.

2023 APC Senatorial Aspirant in FCT Mrs. Laniyi Urge’s media to step up their reporting of cases in FCT.

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