By Ismaila Jimoh, Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barr. Nyesom Wike has vowed to ensure that its administration overhaul the moribund Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company (AUMTCO) for the benefit of the residents of the territory.
Wike made his stand known while speaking to members of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee to Investigate Failure of Mass Transportation in Nigeria, during a working visit to his office in Abuja.
He disclosed that N2 billion was approved for palliatives by President Bola Tinubu for FCT in the Federal Government’s subsidy programme and his “concern was transportation, but I need to know where are we”.
The Minister lamented that AUMTCO buses were been loaned out for other uses without maintenance because “People think that government business is not their business, but where you work should be your concern”.
Hinting at the formation of cabinet next week for people to take charge the affairs, Wike assured that, “We have the capacity and we will work with what you give.”
Berating proliferation of abandoned projects in FCT, Wike revealed that the FCT was owing contractors about N1 trillion for the projects, stating that he would not initiate new ones.
“You must do what you can at a time, and leave those you cannot for other governments….Everyone is a problem. We do our own, you do your own, and everyone does his own.”
Commenting on the “poorly negotiated” Wasa affordable housing contract, the Minister wondered why over N1 billion would be spent by government to provide infrastructure for investors to build and make billions while government gets nothing,
“All those things, am gonna cancel them”, he said.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee, Afam Victor Ogene stated that his committee visited the Minister to find solutions to epileptic mass transportation in the country and FCT after over N16 billion had been put into it during Sure-P.
He disclosed that they discovered Abuja Light Rail was “a mirage of itself” during their visit to the site, and found out that Abuja which used to be dark at night suddenly is no as they could see fuctional streetlight.
“Many people are saying Wike is this, Wike is that, but we need more of Wike”, he stated.
“Abuja is fine but it doesn’t have organized systems and some people are not willing to come Abuja and we are missing revenue.
“We are here to encourage you to also look into transportation to organize it. We will support you to do it and it will also solve problems of one chance in the city”, he pledged.