By Stanley Onyekwere
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has expressed optimism that the construction of the Bwari/ Gurara road by the FCT Administration will enhance economic activities in the border communities between FCT and Niger State.
Bello also added that it will also fulfil a mandate of the FCTA to also assist in the development of the border communities from which the FCT was carved.
The Minister said this when he received a delegation of stakeholders from Tafa Local Government of Niger State, led by Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, former Minister of State of Mines and Steel Development and the Speaker of the Niger State of Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse who were to the FCTA on an appreciation visit for the ongoing road construction work between Bwari in the FCT and Tafa and Gurara in Niger state.
In the words of the Minister, “The whole idea of road networking is to connect people. It really doesn’t make sense to build roads and just stop at the border.
“Luckilyfor us, the founding fathers of the FCT were very forward thinking and envisaged that while the city is in existence, the surrounding areas from where the FCT was carved, which for all intent and purposes are part of what we call the greater Abuja area, especially the border areas should also be developed.
“So there was this concept of development planning that would allow Abuja to provide development in these locations.”
Explaining further on why construction of the roads were essential, the Minister said “anybody coming in from either Lokoja or Kaduna axis, by the time they reach new Wuse in Tafa Local Government, even if you want to go to places like Jere or Southern Kaduna or you want to come into Bwari proper, there is really no need for you to go all the way round, either through the road in Dakwa or come right inside the city and then go through Dutse Alhaji you will simply link into Bwari.
“That’s all the justification. It was all done for the public good and I’m saying so, that the wider public should appreciate the focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in terms of emancipating the people, and enhancing development.”
Furthermore, the Minister also disclosed hat the construction of the roads will also economically empower the residents of the communities along the roads whose occupation are mainly agrarian in nature.
According to him” “For instance, the Bwari/Gurara road passes through the FCT, Niger and parts of Kaduna State and the whole idea is that it brings tremendous amount of linkage to these communities and help their businesses to thrive.
However, seaking earlier, the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon Abdullahi Bawa Wuse said the delegation was in the FCTA to pay a visit of appreciation to the FCT Minister for the construction of the Bwari/Tafa/Gurara road which he said had been abandoned for over 30 years.
He said” after the construction of the dam, nobody ever looked at the need to really put up that road in a proper shape that is being done by you now. Once more, we appreciate Allah for bringing you as the Minister of Abuja and using you to open up that road once again. We are indeed very appreciative of it.
Also speaking, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari said “Nothing would be too much to show appreciation for what you have done for us and still doing. You would be remembered for what you’ve been doing in Abuja.
“All the infrastructure that were abandoned for years are now being completed, despite the challenges of funding. One wonders how you’ve been able to carry along. I know that the funding that used to come – one percent or so that used to come to the FCDA is no longer there, yet you’ve been able to do this.
“We want to thank you for all the attention you’ve given to satellite towns and I want to say that apart from the road that for which we are showing appreciation today, you’ve been able to dualize the Bwari/Jere road, opening up our area for economic activities, social interaction and so many other things. We can’t thank you enough”.
On entourage from Niger State were the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mohammed Sani Idris, Chairman of Tafa Local Government, Hon Ibrahim Mami traditional leaders and APC party leaders.
In a similar vein, the FCT Union of Pensioners have expressed their appreciation to the FCT Minister for the prompt payment of the pensions and other entitlements of its members. The appreciation was made during a meeting held between the FCT Administration and members of the FCT Pensioners Union.
The union members who were led by the FCT NLC Chairman, Comrade Abubakar Alhassan Yakubu, commended the FCT Minister for his management of the affairs of pensioners saying that negative comments being made about him were untrue.
The Minister promised to resolve all lingering matters concerning pensioners describing them as senior citizens who had worked hard for the development of the FCT and the nation at large.