By Oluwaseun Sonde, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Minister Muhammad Musa Bello has said that with the increasing population of the FCT, some of the major challenges confronting the territory include provision of affordable mass housing, mass transportation and waste management.
He made the call when receiving the officials of UN-Habitat led by its Director, Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Naison Mutizwa Mangiza, who was on a courtesy visit to FCTA.
He said the use of electric/hybrid buses to create a reliable mass transportation system will reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and ultimately lead to a cleaner and safer environment.
According to him, “On the provision of a functional and affordable mass transportation system which will not impact negatively on the environment. The technical assistance for the use of electric or hybrid mass transportation buses that will release less or no harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere that it is currently occurring with the use of diesel powered mass transportation buses with possible sources of renewable energy such as solar for charging purposes” he suggested.
On waste management, Bello said that the technical support of the UN organization will help the FCT better manage waste collection and disposal which includes recycling.
This, he said has the potential of providing jobs for many unemployed youths in the society.
While commending the UN-Habitat’s plans to upgrade the Nigeria country office to a Multi country office, the minister stressed the need for FCT to avoid mistakes of many urban cities that tend to grow, develop and eventually decay.
He emphasized the greening policy of the administration in confronting the challenges that bedevil many urban cities.
Bello accepted the invitation of the UN-Habitat to attend the World Urban Forum (WUF 10) scheduled to hold in Abu Dhabi next year.
He sought FCTA’s partnership with the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) for improvement and development especially in the critical areas of transportation waste management as well as mass housing.
Earlier, the UN-Habitat Regional Director had commended Nigeria’s leadership role in the funding of UN-Habitat programmes and activities, not only in Nigeria, but in other African countries.
He commented on the cleanliness of Abuja City.
Mangiza said they were in the FCTA to see how UN Habitat can provide support for the administration especially in the areas of proposal conceptualization to access funds and capacity development.
The meeting was attended by the FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, The Permanent Secretary, Chinyeaka Ohaa and other senior members of the FCTA.