By Stanley Onyekwere
A total of N170 billion worth of infrastructure will be provided by four private investors, in some Land Swap districts in the Phase IV of the Federal Capital City, Abuja, as part of efforts to fast track provision of infrastructural development in the Territory.
According to the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who made the disclosure while signing an MOU with the investors, in Abuja, in addition to the whooping sum, being the total money paid by the investors, another N600-N700 billion will be realised when other investors in waiting are brought on board.
He stressed that the whooping sum that will be rolling in from the private sector collaboration within a very short period of time, cannot be accessed through budgetary allocation for the same purpose in about 4 to 5 fiscal years.
He further revealed that currently the FCT Administration has additional 500 applications indicating interest to participate in the Abuja Land Swap Initiative, which he said only attests to the acceptance of the initiative.
Recall that the Land Swap Policy is an initiative introduced recently by the administration whereby land is given to investors in exchange for provision of infrastructure in designated districts in the Territory.
With the actualization, the minister said about 5000 jobs will be created directly and indirectly from the agreement, adding that:”And by the time we have finished, it will triple to 1.5 million jobs directly and indirectly.”
He emphasised that the administration ensured that the cost of resettlement and compensation is not only embedded in the cost of the project but the communities whose land is being given away were carried along as he thanked the investors for fulfilling this condition.
For the records, Mohammed, noted that four out of 15 investors who bidded for the contract, System Property Development Limited, BGD Limited, AMPM Limited and Urban Shelter Infrastructure Limited, were selected for the agreement while the others who are yet to meet the preconditions for the contracts would brought on board later.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Adamu Ismaila pointe out that although the Abuja Land Swap is just two years old, but it has conveniently solved the problem of dwindling funding of district infrastructure in the Territory.
Meanwhile, giving a review of the agreement, Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre, Farouk Sani, said the agreement is a product of intense negotiation with the investors after the signing of the MoU with the FCT Administration in 2012.
He said the committee set up by the administration to oversee the contract had extensive discussion on financial aspect, engineering design, cost of resettlement and compensation, adding, “at the end of the day we also agreed on the sharing formula.”
He added that there is a clause for termination of the contract if the necessary structure for commencement of execution of the project is not put in place and to ensure it is delivered as scheduled.