July 14, 2017. Bruno U. Okeke
Core indigenous settlements in Jikwoyi, Dutse Alhaji, Gwagwalada and Kuje communities of the Federal Capital Territory, have been selected for urban renewal projects under a soft loan arrangement from African Development Bank (ADB) and UN-Habitat.
The Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin, dropped this hint in a chat with newsmen recently. The projects, according to the Executive Secretary, has been given a new impetus by the current FCT Administration, under the leadership of Malam Muhammad Musa Bello.
Engr. Gambo stressed that the momentum behind the project is the Administration’s plan of completing viable ongoing projects in the City and shifting emphasis to the development of the outskirts. This, he indicated, is with a view to opening up the grassroots of the Territory to make them places where people can live, work and raise their children.
Explaining further, the Director, Satellite Town Development Department, (STDD), Arc. Victoria Imande elucidated that FCT Administration submitted proposals which were acceptable to African Development (ADB) and UN-Habitat. As a result a substantial part of the prequalification conditions have been met which include project identification, detailing of scope of work and identification of major problems.
Under the arrangement, FCT is shopping for a $300 million syndicated loan by both institutions at an interest rate of between 1 to 1.5 percent. The facility would be channelled to address the dearth of modern infrastructure among the poor communities.
According to Arc. Imande, over one million people are projected to benefit from the life improvement projects. Facilities to be provided include water pipelines, electricity, roads, sewage and other basic utilities.
The Administration is working with the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) who are consultants to the international agencies, to ensure due diligence in the procurement process. NIAF, the Director revealed, is already working on the development of the concept note, environmental and social management framework and tentative scope of the project.