– FCT minister
By David Ochuma
Minister, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has again stressed the need for government/citizenry collaboration for the overall growth and development of the national capital.
Malam Bello, who made the emphasis at the FCT Business Made Easy Lituation Event organized by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC said the FCT is such a city that the people should own and guard jealously.
He said interactions, such as the Lituation Event, between government and those that invest in the city, were very apt and very important which would go a long way in encouraging government/citizenry collaborations and ultimately, building the FCT of “our dreams”.
The Minister said: “When I see and I read the efforts being made to ease business and also the successes achieved, I see something that is missing; where is the citizens’ engagement? Because collaboration is essential and it is key”.
Bello reiterated that the citizens must take a more active role in making the city more business friendly. In his words; “We want to make the business environment friendly for the SMEs, but go to our markets and see how refuse is being managed. Go to our traffic intersections and see how traffic rules are being flouted”
While enumerating challenges faced by the FCT Administration in managing a national capital like Abuja, the Minister urged the private sector to partner with the administration, especially in the area of public transportation and waste disposal. He said that the administration has taken various steps to ease procedures for partnership and collaborations.
He explained that procedures for owning taxi company licenses have been eased. “In the past, for you to run a taxi service here in Abuja, you needed to bring like 100 taxis. Now, with 10 motor vehicles, you get into the business
He continued “You will also notice that as a means of easing transportation, the airport station on the Abuja Light Rail is connected to the main terminal, through a concord where you just walk across and if you need to catch a domestic flight, there is also a thoroughfare that you will follow. These are all done to ease movement within the city, which ultimately will also positively affect businesses”
Bello also urged the citizenry to have confidence in government and appreciate the work being done to make things work. His words: “let’s have confidence in this government, let’s have confidence in our country and let’s also appreciate our country. I assure you that if we collaborate and work together, we can achieve a lot”.
“Also, I see many businessmen that I have known here. They will tell you; I don’t think there is any country in the world where you get the kind of returns that you get in Nigeria”.
Earlier, in her address the Special Adviser to the President on the Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole said that the Lituation Event was intended to connect all stakeholders across the Nigerian Business landscape at the subnational level especially young entrepreneurs with government agencies and business regulators.
The event featured testimonies from successful young entrepreneurs in the FCT and a question and answer session between the FCT Minister and members of the public.