aviation

Teddy Oscar, Abuja

The minister of aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has again been summoned by the House of Representatives to throw more light on the N342 billion aerotropolis project proposed by the Federal Government.

This follows the presentation of the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mphammed, who hinted that the proposed project will be located within 20 minutes drive away from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Mohammed also disclosed that the Centenary City project that is designed by the Federal Government to commemorate Nigeria’s 100 years of amalgamation will attract an investment of N3.2 trillion for the next 10 years.

This is even as FCT requires an annual sum of N480 billion to address new infrastructure investments for the next five years.

Mohammed dropped these hints when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ investigation into alleged improper allocations, cases of land racketeering in the mass housing scheme, land swap and allocations of commercial and residential plots by FCT from 2010 till date.

The minister also hinted that government would spend the sum of N342 billion on infrastructure for an aerotropolis project that would be located on an area of 2,947 hectares of land that is within 20 minutes drive from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“The Centenary City project of the Federal Government is being pursued through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and it was envisioned as a business, leisure and tourism destination. The development of the city, which is to be over 1,200 hectares, is 100 percent private sector driven.

“As a world-class and master planned environment that will give new meaning to business, leisure, tourism and urban life, the project is to attract an investment of N3.2 trillion in the next 10 years. It is to be implemented outside the land swap framework.

“There is also another project of the Federal Government, which is being implemented through the office of the Federal Ministry of Aviation… the total infrastructure cost is expected to be N342,073,556,624.00, and it is to be executed under the land swap model,” he added.

Mohammed, who revealed that the actual number of land applications is 52,036, hinted that nearly 90,000 applications are still pending.

“The total number of land allocation from January 2010 till date is 16,069. A total of 737 titles were revoked from 2010 to date fro various reasons, ranging from previous commitments, fake titles, irregularities in allocation, restoration of master plan, court judgements, re-designs, sub-divisions, overriding public interest and non compliance with the terms and conditions of the allocation. There are a total of 87,739 land applications pending allocations,” he added.

Speaking on the funding challenges, the minister revealed that FCT has an existing infrastructure liabilities of more than N470 billion.

“FCT requires investments in new infrastructure of a minimum of N480 billion per annum for the next five years to able to meet up with its expectations both by its founding fathers and under Vision 20:2020. It shall require at least 50 percent of that sum every year for maintenance.

“However, the FCTA has got averagely not more than 10 percent of the requisite fund in its yearly budget allocation in the last three years. Such allocations are not even sufficient to settle its existing infrastructure liabilities (that are) put at over N470 billion, not to talk of embarking on new infrastructure projects,” Mohammed said.

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