By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through its Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) revealved that about N19 billion has been expended on various projects in satellite towns of the nation’s capital in two years.
This was disclosed by the outgoing Coordinator of STDD, Ishaku Yamawo, during a brief handgover ceremony, on Tuesday.
Yamawo said payment of Capital Projects witnessed uncommon improvement with the sum of N9,384,207,854,00 released under 2017 Capital and over N10 billion released uder the 2018 capital year being the first time in the history of STDD capital projects.
He however, regretted the fact that he wasn’t able to get autonomy for the agency but expressed optimism that the Director of STDD, Felix Nwankwo, who is to oversee the department will be able to achieve such objective.
Yamawo who was appointed on the 18th of September, 2017 and sworn in the 25th of September, 2017 as coordinator of STDD, said when he took over he discovered some lapses which included inadequate budgetary provision, lean release of funds to execute projects and programmes,under utilisation of service/support units.
He recalled that over 80% of contractors handling infrastructure projects not on sites and abandonment of projects in satellite towns.
According to him “The policy changes on the status of the STDD, resulting to in effective satellite towns development. Efforts are being made to regenerate and restore the status of the STDD to STDA for the benefits of the citizenbry.
“Today, I can tell you that we have completed some projects, such as at Gbagalape road, Karu embankment, Byazhin road in Kubwa, one in December in Gwagwalada, and many others. If you go round the six area councils, you must see the presence of STDD.”
He continued: “The only challenge we have at the moment is for STDD to become Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA), so that it will have its own autonomy to operate like other secretariats.
“ And that is the only thing I can say I regret leaving behind. I thought I was going to achieve that during my tenure, but God has done it the other way round.”