Vice President Namadi Sambo on Thursday rejected the N1.45tn budget proposal by the technical sub-committee of the Presidential Committee on Federal Government Intervention for Infrastructural Development of Peri-FCT Communities.
President Goodluck Jonathan established the committee, chaired by Sambo, to design the modalities for the development of infrastructure for communities close to the FCT.
While receiving the sub-committee’s report, Sambo said the amount quoted was on the high side.
He, therefore, set up another committee, led by the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Muhammed, to take a second look at the report.
He also expressed the need for the financial involvement of the Federal Government, the states concerned and the local governments to be clearly stipulated.
He added that the timeframe for the commencement of the project as well as when it would end should also be indicated in the recommendations.
Sambo said the idea of complimentary intervention of the Peri-FCT communities was not to build new towns but to develop the ghettos in the boundary communities of the FCT.
He also cautioned that building schools to be jointly managed by the contiguous states and the FCT would not be necessary given that the Federal Government was already building the Universal Basic Education schools in all states and communities in the country.
“The immediate items to consider are transportation, electricity, housing, portable water, health issues and sanitation in these areas. The amount already envisaged by the committee is on the high side,” he said.
Muhammed, in his contribution, identified factors associated with uncontrolled human population influx as some of the factors that were creating development challenges in the Peri-FCT communities of Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states, resulting in severe infrastructure gaps.
He said the situation led to the contiguous states and the FCT’s appeal to the Federal Government for special intervention towards providing relief to the affected communities.
He said the main communities being proposed for Federal Government complimentary intervention for infrastructure development are Suleja and environs in Niger State; Karu/Mararaba axis in Nasarawa State; and Chikara in Kogi State; while for FCT, the satellite communities of Karshi, Jikwoyi, Nyanya, Karu and Zuba are to be considered.
Mohammed also made a case for Kaduna State to be added in the list, as, according to him, there is a road to be constructed from Nyanya to link the state.