From Evelyn Dadu, Abuja
The issues of resettlement and compensation in the Federal Capital Territory is capital intensive and should be captured in the federal government’s priority budget, the ministerial Committee on Apo resettlement has observed.
While submitting its report to the FCT Minister of State in Abuja yesterday, Chairman of the committee, Arc. Joshua Dara said the Garki community was ready to move to Apo resettlement area but for some issues that are yet to be resolved.
The Federal Government, he said has been advised to capture the resettlement and compensation of the original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the National Priority Budget of the Federal Government.
This was one of the major recommendations in the report of the Ministerial Committee on Facts Finding and the Way Forward on Apo Resettlement Scheme, which was submitted on yesterday to the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide.
The minister had on August 2, 2012 inaugurated the Ministerial Committee to resolve the lingering Apo Resettlement crisis.
Vice Chairman of the Committee, Joshua Kaura, who presented the report to the minister, explained that the resettlement and compensation of indigenes could not satisfactorily be funded under the FCT Administration’s Statutory Budget.
“The Committee found out that the issue of resettlement and compensation is the business of the Federal Government. It involves huge capital resources and also constituting security problems within the territory.”
“The Committee recommended that the FCT Administration liaise with the Federal Government of Nigeria to include the resettlement and compensation of original inhabitants of the FCT in its National Priority Budget,” said Kaura, who is the Director, Inspectorate, Planning and Management of FCT Area Councils Service Secretariat.
He noted that the Committee, in arriving at its recommendations, consulted widely with the Councils of Elders and Chiefs in the various communities, youth leaders and members and other stakeholders in addition to undertaking on the spot assessment of the communities. The Committee therefore recommended immediate implementation of the relocation of indigenes to the New Apo Resettlement Town.
Kaura also stated that the Committee recommended a review of the FCT Resettlement Policy in accordance with the best global practices.
Responding, the Minister commended members of the Committee for accomplishing the terms of reference and assured that the FCT Administration would study and implement the recommendations.
She said, “In democracy, everyone has a stake, including the original inhabitants, the Federal Government, FCT Administration, residents and international community. This report has given us a road map and way forward that we can follow.”
”The FCTA under the able leadership of the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, will examine the report and implement it. This is the way democracy can succeed in Nigeria,” Akinjide said.
The Ministerial Committee on Fact Finding and the Way Forward on Apo Resettlement Scheme was chaired by the Solicitor-General, Federal Capital Territory, Mrs. Helen Oloja.
From Evelyn Dadu, Abuja