By Festus Fifen.
The Nigeria Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike has vowed to step on toes in his quest to recover debts accruing to the FCT Administration especially in the area of ground rents
Wike while warning defaulters of ground rents in the territory to immediately take steps to offset their outstanding liabilities, said he is not afraid to step on toes at the end of the grace period given, emphasizing that he would match his words with actions by revoking such plots.
The formal Rivers state Governor restated this on Tuesday in Abuja at separate meetings with the President, Nigeria Union of Journalist NUJ, Chris Isiguzo ,and the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, James Chrisoff.
Cautioning those who think his utterances are just a show of Phantom bravery, called “initial gragra” in local parlance, Wike said at the end of the ultimatum for payment, it will become clearer to those still doubting his resolve to recover debts in the nation’s capital.
Speaking when he received the NUJ leadership, Wike said the era of abandoned projects in the FCT was over.
In his words, “Abandonment of projects as far as the FCT is concerned is a thing of the past. This would not have been possible without the president exiting us from the TSA. As I speak to you, I can tell you how much we have been able to save from the IGR. There will be continuous funding of FCTA projects”.
On ground rents, the minister said; “Some people are saying what we are doing is ‘initial gragra’, but I want to say that at the end of the day, something will happen. We will step on toes because you cannot have governance without stepping on toes. I did not make the laws but I and my colleague, the Minister of State have the political will to enforce the laws”.
Earlier, Isiguzo expressed optimism about what he called “the transformational potentials of your leadership in the FCT”.
He also requested the Minister’s support in the establishment of a Media Village as well as the forthcoming national media conference.
Receiving the Canadian top diplomat, Wike assured foreign missions and other investors of improved security in the territory, saying security agencies were working daily to ensure that security is full-proof on the nation’s capital.
He said the establishment of a Joint Taskteam on “One-chance robbers”, has helped address the menace, as no incident has been recorded since the team began operation.
“Security has improved in the FCT. Security agencies have been working round the clock to ensure that the environment remains safe. For instance, the issue of one-chance, we set up a joint taskforce and they have been working round the clock, since then no incidence has been recorded.
“The Renewed Hope agenda of Mr. President is to restore Hope to our people. The President has put modalities in place to ensure that people’s hope is renewed. So much activities is going on in Abuja.
“We are focused on our drive to increase our Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, so we can carry out other development. So we encourage corporate bodies, foreign missions to fulfil their tax obligations”, he stated.
Chris off had commended the Wike-led administration for establishing the Women Affairs Secretariat, saying Canada has immense interest in improving opportunities for young women and girls in the FCT.
He said his country was also interested in partnering with Nigeria in the area of Agriculture, as was articulated by President Tinubu at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit.
Meanwhile, Wike had earlier in the day inaugurated the pioneer Secretary of Women Affairs, Mrs Benjamins Adedayo-Laniyi, with a charge to come up with workable modalities that will help the secretariat kick off operations.
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