The Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, has implicated the legal department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) of connivance in the award of $800 million garnishee order against it, but which was recently set aside by the Court of Appeal.
Wike said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the swearing-in ceremony of FCTA Mandate Secretaries, who held a role equivalent to that of commissioners in a state government.
The garnishee order, which the FCTA appealed and got a judgement in its favour, was awarded to the Nigeria Film Corporation, for a breach of the contractual obligation.
The minister had lamented that the substantial award would affect the economy of the FCTA and its ability to meet its obligations.
“I must also address the recent garnishee order to the sum over $800 million, which was a particularly embarrassing incident. I am determined to get to the bottom of this matter and ensure that such situations do not recur. Transparency and accountability will be hallmarks of our administration.
“The garnishee order was awarded recently and set aside by the Appeal Court. But it was in collusion with the legal department in FCTA. So, we are happy we have a General Counsel that is tested. So many things – land racketeers conniving with those going to court against the interest of FCTA. But we shall not accept that,” Wike vowed.
The minister also confessed that he was less than impressed with observations and assessments he made over the past few weeks while undertaking various tours within the FCT since his appointment as minister.
He stressed the need to address with determination and urgency, the issues regarding the FCTA procurement processes, adding that transparency, efficiency and accountability must become the cornerstones of the administration.
He charged the mandate secretaries of their pivotal role in the journey of transformation and renewal of the FCT, noting that they had a duty to translate the vision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu into tangible actions that would shape the future of the FCT.
“I urge you to approach your responsibilities with unwavering dedication, for service is a privilege that often demands sacrifices. Be prepared to make those sacrifices, as our mission is greater than any one of us.
“Our president has entrusted us with the monumental task of rebuilding and developing the FCT into a world-class city. To achieve this, we must address several key areas that are essential for the progress of our city and the well-being of our residents,” Wike said.
The former Rivers governor said due attention should be given to the development of the satellite towns, boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile, restore Abuja Master Plan, address comprehensively the challenge of public transportation, security, tourism, education and environmental sanitation.
He also charged the Mandate Secretary, Transportation Secretariat, Uboku Tom Nyah, to resuscitate the Abuja metro for the president to have a ride on, warning that his job was on line if he failed to meet the target and revive the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Buses.
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja