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AMAC, FCT residents bicker over N1 billion infrastructure

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Residents of Trade More Estate in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have rejected the decision by the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to spend over N1billion for the provision of electricity in the estate.

The over 3,000 household residents said they prefer the funds to be channeled towards the construction of roads linking the estate with Abuja Airport Road.

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They vowed to halt payment of tenement rates until the access roads are constructed and issues concerning flood-prone areas addressed.

Chairman of Trade More Estate Phase 1 Residents, Mr. Tunde Sholadoye, said they had informed AMAC and the FCT administration during an interactive session that the priority of the estate was the two major roads linking the airport highway to the estate.

Sholadoye, a senior civil servant, explained that residents had earlier contributed money that was used to erect street lights.

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‘’We have agreed that no resident of this estate will pay tenement rate to AMAC, because tenement rates are based on infrastructure put in place for the people. We have assured the authorities that once the roads are tarred, we will pay all necessary levies to the government”, he said.

The Vice-Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Lawrence Onochukwu, had earlier told the residents to pay tenement rates to enable the government to put in place infrastructure in that corridor.

He said, AMAC earmarked over N1 billion for the provision of electricity in the estate, but was unhappy with residents for their refusal to pay tenement rates.

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‘’Now that residents prefer the construction of the two major roads linking the estate to Airport Road, we will renegotiate and undertake a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to achieve the objective’’, he said.

Meanwhile, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tiijasni Aliyu, has promised to look into AMAC’s proposed N1 billion allocation for electricity in the estate.

She urged the council to send a memo to her office. She pledged to engage the Ecological Funds Office to ensure the road projects are properly executed.

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Aliyu, who paid a solidarity visit to the area, advised residents to relocate from the flood-prone areas to avert natural disasters.

The minister, who used the occasion to deliver palliatives to the victims of the flood at the estate, said ‘’We have also come with some palliatives such as mattresses, cooking gas, honey  products for 30 households to mitigate their losses.”

She further advised the residents to be law-abiding and continue to support the government at all levels to sustain unity of the country.

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