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FCT residents complain bitterly over non-functional infrastructure

Many residents in estates within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried lack of functional social amenities. Some stakeholders told journalists of their anger and frustration.

They stressed the need for relevant government agencies to intervene and ensure provision of essential infrastructure in the estates.

A resident of Cajaah Estate, Nwagbara Ihueze, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the estate developers had failed to provide the residents with essential social amenities.

“Apart from two units of transformers the developer has put in place, the fencing is not done, which gives hoodlums easy access to the estate.

Moreover, the individual residents have to drill boreholes themselves to provide water.

“Imaging every resident drilling his/her borehole in an estate designed to accommodate more than 1,000 houses. Some of the drillers might drill two boreholes before they get water,” he said.

With regard to health facilities in the estate, Nwagbara said some of the areas earmarked for building of the health facilities and other infrastructure were also sold off.

Nwagbara noted that if there was a health-related emergency issue in the estate, the residents would not find it funny, as the nearest health facility was the general hospital, which is about 6km away from the estate.

He further pointed out that the estate had no fire service outpost around it.

“So, if there is an incident of fire outbreak, you don’t have fire truck around. The nearest fire service station is in Nyanya, which is about 45 minutes’ drive.

“Imaging the amount of damage the fire would have done,’’ he lamented.

When asked if the residents had made any effort to tackle the challenges, Nwagbara said that the residents had formed a registered association and appointed officials.

The resident explained that some of the responsibilities of the association were to provide security guards that patrol the estate, in addition to the effort of the police and other security agents.

On any written contractual agreement between the residents and the estate developers, Nwagbara told journalists that the developers only issued receipts and invoice for the payments made.

All efforts to reach the developers on phone were not successful.

But in another community, Dawaki, the residents’ major complain was on poor state of roads and drainage.

Maxwell Jedediah of Rangeview Estate, Dawaki, said the roads are usually terrible during the dry season as residents are faced with serious dust, which is not healthy.

He noted that during rainy season some roads were not passable, because of the poor drainage making the roads to be flooded.

“Since, I moved to this area over eight years now, the roads have been bad, the drainage is not properly done and that is why during rainy season the road is flooded.

“The roads become muddy and to move around is a problem. If it were not for the SCC construction company that tries to manage the road annually, it would have been inaccessible, especially Dawaki village,” he said.

Adawole Akin, a resident of Trans Engineering Estate, at Dawaki, wonders why Gwarimpa had a better road network compared to Dawaki, which are under the same Bwari Area Council.

He said most of the Area Councils do not provide basic amenities to the people rather they keep looking for ways to generate revenue.

According to him, there was no water supply in the area, except the individual boreholes drilled by the residents.

Akin said Dawaki was underdeveloped compared to other communities around, urging the government agencies concerned to look into the water and roads issues and come up with a solution.

However, Halima Dauda, from Grace Community Estate, said that, in 2016, some contractors brought some drainage equipment and dumped them by the road, adding that till date no work has commenced.

She said the residents were happy seeing the equipment initially, but they never knew it was business as usual, where contract would be awarded, money collected, but the work would remain at the same state.

Dauda, however, urged the Federal Government and FCTA to set up a monitoring committee that would go round the area councils to verify projects and work done.

According to him, accountability is the only way forward.

“There is no drainage in some areas, the road is bad, the road network too is poor. The only good thing in this area is the power supply.

“Every resident depends on individual boreholes, as water board does supply the estate with water.

“The problem in this country is that when contract are awarded, nobody cares to follow up to find whether the projects were done or not: I don’t know whose responsibility it is – Area Councils, FCT or FG?

“But I am sure that the road construction would have been awarded, but the contractor might have failed to do the job, because some equipment has been by the road for years.

“I call on the relevant government agencies to help us, in the area of roads and potable water supply,’’ she said.

In another estate at Maitama District, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) quarters, the residents appealed to relevant agencies in charge of collection of tenement rate in the FCT to reduce the bill.

Paul peter, the Secretary of the Landlord Association, NPA quarters, made the appeal on behalf of other members of the association.

Peter lamented the high rate of billing the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) brought for the houses in the estate to pay.

“I think AMAC should reduce the rent charges on these houses, so that it will be easy for people to pay the charges.

“When you ask the owner of a property to pay close to N200, 000 or N250, 000 in a year, it is too much and not realistic.

“Let them charge what people will be able to pay with ease, with the economic recession now it is unfair for them to charge as much, ’’ he said.

He noted that the estate does not have any problem relating to electricity, water and security within the environment.

Another tenant in the estate, Ayodeji Rowland, told NAN that the road leading to the estate was just rehabilitated about two month ago.

“The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has been coming to evacuate the refuse, so really we do not have any problem in this regard.

“The only problem I know is the fact that the people do not comply most times with the payment of the facility bill charged to keep the estate running.

“But we are doing all we can to see that people pay for the services they enjoy. Sometimes, the transformer will developed a fault; it is with the fee charged that we do all this and pay for security at the gate,’’ he added.

At Bwari town, the headquarters of the Bwari Area Council, Ali Hassan, a tenant with High Brow Estate, urged the FCT administration to endeavour to provide access roads to estates.

He told journalists that all the estates within the territory that he had visited – including his own has no access road that link the estates with major roads.

He said: “You will discover that the FCT administration has not redeemed its part of the agreement by providing access road and other infrastructure to various estates in the city.

“Most of the estate owners had not done their own part by providing road network within the estates.

A Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) senior staffer, Sule Idris, on the provision of infrastructure, he said the administration is doing its best to provide necessary infrastructures to all nooks and crannies of the territory.

“The administration is doing its best; government is committed to complete those projects and to provide all other necessary items for the residents to enjoy their stay in the city.

“Likewise, those districts that were not captured will be on subsequent budgets, but it has to be gradual.

“On the estate, we have done roads that linked them with main roads. The process is gradual as we cannot take all the estates at the same time.

“I assure you if not for the way the budget is being implemented and economic recession we would have been there since, but with time, we will soon be there, ’’ he said.

Credit: Infrastructure news

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