Senate faults open drains in Abuja
The Senate decried yesterday the building of open drains on the multi- billion naira Abuja highways and the modern ring roads in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, said the development was not in tandem with modern global practices.
Ekweremadu’s comments followed the second reading of the N271.1billion FCT budget proposal for 2014.
Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi, who gave a breakdown of the proposed budget, said N49.2billion was earmarked for personnel cost, N62.8billion for overhead cost and N159billion for capital projects.
Ekweremadu lamented the presence of open drains on the major roads leading to Abuja and the ring roads and urged the FCT authorities to address the architectural defects.
He said: “I am not an architect or an engineer, but I am sure many of you will understand what I am saying. I don’t believe it is a modern design to have these open drainages. Once it rains, you find that vehicles end up in the drains.
“We need to do something about it because it is very embarrassing in the 21st century to have this kind of design. Something needs to be done about it.
“This is very important because Abuja is not just a city for Nigeria. Every person in Africa considers Abuja as an African city, which they are all proud of. So, we must ensure that we maintain that status.
“We must also be sure that we are doing exactly what those people are doing, including Brazil that is developing a new city, Brasilia, Canberra in Australia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
“They have moved their capital to a place outside the current capital, which is being well developed. Even within Africa, there is also a development in Cote D’ivoire in Yamassoukrou. But in all these, it seems to me to be a deviation on our part, in some aspects.”
The Deputy Senate President said the FCT administration was not doing enough to regulate the activities of private estate developers and the Federal Housing Authority.
He noted that the developers had been helping in developing the FCT, but that it appeared that they were not being well regulated, adding that most of the property they had developed were lacking in basic infrastructure.
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