Posted by From: Madu Onuorah (Abuja) on
MINISTRY of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday explained the rationale behind the scrapping by President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Ministry of FCT, saying that the new order only makes sure that the ...
MINISTRY of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday explained the rationale behind the scrapping by President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Ministry of FCT, saying that the new order only makes sure that the duplication of functions by both the Ministry and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) is stopped.
He told State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council that it is a misnomer for the capital territory, meant to be run with state structure, is allowed to be run as a ministry.
He stated that by the Act setting up the FCDA and by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President is the Governor of the territory and only appoints a Minister as the constitution demands, to represent him.
He also dispelled some stories that the Ministry was scrapped in order allow him the free hand to run the ministry as the bureaucracy was slowing down the pace of development.
According to el-Rufai, "there is nothing like that. I have been the Minister of the FCT for more than one and half years. And I have done what I want done and at the pace I want it done. The truth is that the city was build by the FCDA and not the Ministry. But we won't like the duplication to continue. It is not personal. It is what the Act says.
"Yes, yesterday, Mr. President authorized the announcement of his decision to scrap the Ministry. Up till 1981, there was nothing like the Ministry of the FCT. What was on ground was that all the Ministers of the FCT merely supervised the FCDA. Somehow during the military rule, the ministry came into being. But the Ministry was duplicating the functions of the FCDA. This administration inherited the Ministry and planned a de-merger. When I was appointed, I saw this problem. We had a roadmap to convert the ministry structure to a state structure. To use ministry to run a state structure is a misnomer."
With the new structure in place, he announced that the surplus staff of 2,000 is to report to the Head of Service for possible deployment.
On the issue of a Mayor for Abuja, he stated that "I am sure that the issue of a mayor would take place some time. Bit that would take some constitutional amendment. But a mayor runs a city, not a state territory. You have mayors for cities, not for territories."`