The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has declared readiness to collaborate with the National Boundary Commission to ensure encroached boundary areas are recovered and protected against abuse.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello made this disclosure when a delegation from the Commission, led by its Director-General (DG), Dr Muhammad Ahmad, paid him a working visit, on Tuesday.
Bello assured that the FCT Administration will work with the Commission to carry out projects within reasonable costs, to ensure that the boundary areas around the FCT are demarcated with concrete pillars, such that will be visible to even laymen.
The Minister indicated that structures that are already sitting on the boundary areas around the territory would be removed and compensation paid to deserving affected developers. He said the high rate at which the population of the Territory was expending has necessitated that steps must be made quickly to stop further encroachments.
H decried that the FCTA had in the past unwittingly sited projects in parts of Kogi State around the Abaji boundary areas, which is not part of the Abuja land mass.
He also noted that the Karshi Ara road that extends into Nasarawa State being done by the FCTA, as well as well as parts of the FCT that are already built up that were thought to be Niger State.
Bello commended the relationship between the FCTA and the Commission, saying it has enabled the Administration to have a clearer picture of the boundary.
He added that the FCT Boundary committee has been repositioned with the Permanent Secretary as the Chairman, the Director, Survey and Mapping as the Secretary while respected eminent personalities have also been included.
According to him: “All areas that are built up on the border will have to move. With dialogue, we can make arrangement for compensations.
“The border has to be demarcated and it has to be something those that are not experts can see right through.
“There should be a buffer zone that differentiates the area. We need to do what the law says.”
Earlier in his remark, the DG, Boundary Commission, Dr Muhammad Ahmad, said that a joint meeting has been scheduled in a few days’ time to review the status of the boundary and agree on a new roadmap that will address the challenges of encroachment and counter encroachments.
He advised the FCT Administration and Nasarawa government to stop granting development permits along the border corridor, pending the conclusion of work.
The DG also charged the FCTA to undertake a comprehensive census of all the developments on the boundary line along the FCT/Nasarawa area in particular for proper records and necessary actions, to make the boundary of the FCT and its neighbours more visible on the ground.
He said the affected border communities of the FCT and her neighbouring states should be encouraged to come together and discuss issues of cross broader cooperation to douse tensions and downplay the politics of boundary disputes.
Ahmad also opined the idea of a special funding for the placement of primary pillars across the boundary areas of the FCT, as the normal funding of the Commission cannot support that