Mohammed Musa Bello, FCT Minister not a dead wood! — Nigerian Pilot News
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Mohammed Musa Bello, FCT Minister not a dead wood!

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Mohammed Musa Bello, FCT Minister not a dead wood!

The title of this piece draws from the current edition of the Xpress newspaper which sought to do a performance evaluation of President Mohammadu Buhari’s Ministers which labelled many of them with the banner headline “DEADWOOD”

For any cursory observer of events in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, it was certainly an unkind cut to have lumped the FCT Minister among the lot they identified as deadwoods in the administration of President Buhari. Truth be told, there are dead woods among them, but the FCT Minister Mohammed Bello is not one of them.

The report under review evidently was timely: by May 29 this year, the administration would have completed its first term in office and begins its second lap, consequently, there is no better time than now to undertake an evaluation of public perception of the performance of those who are seen as the president’s men, the drivers of government’s policies and programmes.

It is easy to consign this piece as the write-up of another paid agent of the administration trying hard to whitewash the image of the FCT Minister and the administration. However, nothing can be further from the truth. For those who have followed my position in the recent, past they would note that I have been one of the fiercest critics of the Musa Bello administration in the FCT.

Besides I write from a position of knowledge and deep understanding of the problems of the capital city. I have lived here long enough to be considered an authority on the affairs of the city. I have been a resident of Abuja for almost 25 years. I have seen Abuja grown from a sparsely populated city into the beehive that it is today.

I have witnessed Abuja from a vantage position. As a journalist and reporter, I covered the FCT for the Abuja Times, Abuja’s first daily newspaper, then a publication of the old Daily Times. I have also covered the Capital City as the head of Northern Operations of the old Daily Times. From these vantage positions, I believe I have enough background knowledge to adequately air my views about the problems that have besieged and continue to besiege the city without holding fort for anybody.

However, the perception of the FCT Minister as a non-performer, which has become the general trend, is easily attributable to his leadership style. A man noted for his unusual humility and candour, he does his job without the usual media hype that accompanies high ranking public officials.

Having taken note of the glitches and hitches besetting the administration of the territory, he believes that the powers of the capital city should not revolve around the minister but around the mandate secretariats and other departments and agencies that run the city and directly interface with the residents.

His emphasis on growing institutions in the FCT is hinged on his core belief that a minister would come and go, but the administrative structure would remain. lt is only normal to expect these structures to be able to function optimally in such a way that they are not dependent on the whims and caprices of the minister to be able to fulfil their core goals.

In simple terms, the biggest problem confronting the FCT today is infrastructure. The capital city needs more roads and bridges to ease vehicular movement. The city needs more housing, the city needs to expand beyond its present confines to accommodate the ever influx of people into it. Herein lies the challenge.

Many people are unaware that over 40 years since the creation of the FCT and over 25 years since the movement of the capital city from Lagos to Abuja, several roads within the city centre are yet to be completed and made available for vehicular movement.

Successive administration in the FCT rather than seize the bull by the horns and see government as a continuum and complete the critical infrastructure started by their predecessors have opted to start their own projects with their own imprimatur.

This has been the guiding principle of the Mohammed Musa Bello administration in the FCT. Evidence abound that testifies to this fact.

Several arterial roads and link bridges have been completed. Can you imagine the succour the completion of the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Express Way has brought to residents of Karu, Nyanyan and beyond? They nolonger have to meander through AYA and face the attendant traffic gridlock it creates, to access the city centre; it is now a straight route that takes commuters into the city centre, in no time.

What about the Area 11 link road? That now enable residents to drive from NTA/SHAGALINKU/FCDA/FCTA to Area 8 without hassles, besides more sections of the Southern Parkway have been completed and opened to motorists by the FCT administration under the leadership of Malam Muhammed Musa Bello.

The Aro/Apo road which successive FCT administration paid mere lip service to is finally getting the attention it deserves. This very critical road is designed to link Karshi to Apo. The completion of this road will not only expand the development of Abuja but also serve as an alternative route for residents of Karshi, Orozo down to Karu and Nyanyan.

Work is also in progress for the dualisation of Kuje link Road. The project for the dualisation of the main arterial road linking Kuje with the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport Express Road is expected to commence within this year. The focus on Kuje clearly is in realisation of the growing importance of the town as a major satellite town in Abuja, with the prospect of providing residential accommodation for the ever growing population of the city.

Unfortunately, the Minister has been largely media shy. His successes have been ignored by the media because they are not accompanied by a media plan. All these projects were not even commissioned. They were opened to public use without the usual fanfare that accompany such projects. We live in a country where appearance not substance matters. It is not surprising to see many public officials spending humongous amount of money on media and publicity plans than they would rather spend on projects that bring relief to the people.

The FCT Minister has stuck to his guns doing right in service of FCT residents without seeking media attention. He seeks no personal glory or benefits, but works within the limits of his beliefs and convictions.
test number of people.

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