As part of efforts to fast track infrastructural development in Abuja, the nation’s capital city, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has signed a Land Swap agreement with four investors for provision of primary engineering infrastructure.
Peoples Daily reports 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.
Signing the agreement on behalf of the Administration, Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the Land Swap policy, which according to him, aimed at reducing the services and infrastructural cost.
The minister disclosed that four out of 15 investors who bided 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.
He explained that the N170 billion accrues to the FCT administration- being the total money paid by the investors, while “N600-N700 billion will be recouped when the other investors are brought on board.”
Describing the partnership as a win-win situation that will benefit both parties, he said it would have taken the administration 10 or more years to generate such an amount, “We have reduced the spate of speculations on land. We have reduced sharp practices in addition to its employment generation capacity,” the minister stressed.
He added that about 5000 jobs will be created directly and indirectly from the agreement, saying “and by the time we have finished, it will triple to 1.5 million jobs directly and indirectly.”
He noted 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.
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 noted that the committee set up by the administration to oversee the contract had extensive discussion on financial aspect, engineering design, cost of resettlement and compensation, as at the end of the day we also agreed on the sharing formula.
Furthermore, he said 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.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr. Adamu Ismaila, also noted that the journey which today culminated into signing of agreement started two years ago.
“It is an initiative to find other means of fast tracking infrastructure in the FCT in line with the Abuja Masterplan,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the investors, the Chairman, Urban Shelter Infrastructure Limited, Musa Dangogo Aliyu called on them to be committed to the terms of the agreement.