To give impetus to the accelerated development of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello has called for strategic private sector participation and partnership in the development of district infrastructure as well as low cost housing in the FCT.
The FCT minister who made this call in Abuja during the opening ceremony of the 3rd Abuja Investment Expo, which took place in Abuja said the territory cannot achieve meaningful progress without participation of the private sector.
The minister who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mohammad Bashir Mai-Borno said the multiplier effects of investments in these areas would not only energise the FCT’s economy but would also raise its commercial profile as well as create jobs and lift the standard of living of the residents.
He commended the leadership and members of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry for setting the pace in property development with the Novare Gateway Mall, which was developed in collaboration with a foreign investor, in addition to the chambers’ six-floor headquarters and 10,000 seater convention centre situated on a strategic location in the Abuja International Airport.
He said these structures have helped to improve the outlook of Abuja cityscape.
Bello said the administration needs strategic partnership with the private sector in the form of public-private-partnership (PPP) projects, particularly in district infrastructure development and low cost housing, adding, “Only you can carry our clarion call to foreign investors as well as form business alliances which would bring foreign partners into Abuja.”
The minister however disclosed that the FCT administration has earmarked about N70 billion in the 2018 budget to help improve infrastructure development and public utilities, both within the capital city and the satellite towns.
He said efforts are also ongoing to improve the city’s transportation, through the development of the next phase of the Abuja light rail project.
Responding, the chairman of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prince Adetokumbo Kayode called on the government to introduce favourable policies in the forms of special tax breaks as well as lower interest rates to ensure that investors do not pass the cost of development to the consumers.