Federal Capital of Lawlessness and AEPB Enforcement.
Abuja, our foremost federal capital territory is a shadow of itself; the city is losing it prestigious serene environment, planned structure and developed architecture on a daily basis. Abuja came into limelight as a city to reckon with in the days of Nasir El Rufai as its minister of Fct but today the city is in ruins and the necessary authority should savage the city from ruins, lawlessness and dirt.
The reason is not far-fetched from the way and manner the department whose responsibility is to keep the city clean and fight against menace is now an association of extortionist, lazy and unproductive workers.
The issue is on enforcement and before writing on enforcement, little emphasis should be laid on the leadership of the ministry of federal capital territory headed by Alhaji Muhammed Musa Bello . He is regarded as the ‘’airport minister’’ who only enjoy the duty of biding his boss farewell and receiving the president from any trip he embarks on than concentrating on his office and doing his job. The task in coordinating the ministry is enormous and he should set his priority right because the office of a minister is not for jamboree. His altitude and approach on governance is affecting his subjects. Therefore his subjects follow suit because the head is not prudent and ready to set right perspectives. Therefore until mediocrity is sacrificed for meritocracy, we are not bond to transform our society.
The present federal capital development authority (FCDA) administration with its various departments have failed in maintenance of existing structures in the city centre, things are getting worst whereby motor parks, markets are springing up, tricycles and motorcycles plying highways among other vices.
Orderliness leads to goals and it is paramount for this administration to put all hands on deck in clearing the current menace in the FCT.
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) is critical towards achieving the right developmental plan for the federal capital but its staffs are extortionist than enforcement officers. Using Gimbiya Street, Port Harcourt and Onitsha crescent as an example, these hoodlums in collaboration with the Nigeria police whom are supposed to enforce laws are now tax officers by collecting levies from artisans, prostitutes and local food vendors. They see hawkers and remove their eyes because they have been compromised. Also there exist pockets of this extortionist at Citec, lokogoma, Aya, Powerline junction, life camp junction etc. Stricter enforcement should be taken on this workers, re-engagement and training of this staffs. They should be spend a day in a particular location and made to move on a rotational basis.
Another menace in the city is signage, this is an area of enforcement that can generate revenue for the ministry, the number of signage in Abuja is constituting an environmental mess to the city and I would suggest that in places like CBD and Wuse, signage industries should be promoted to introduce 3-D, LED-SCREEN in this business districts, it will increase revenue and change Abuja skyline and aesthetic. Thus we can domesticate New York template of this design in Abuja. Also in areas like Idu industrial estate, the Idu railway signpost had been covered by other company signpost, it would be nice if these various industries can procure a particular signpost which will have all their designs and logos pointing to their direction. This effort will create revenue for the ministry and also reduce signage menace in the city centre, it is imperative that these ideas will create employment for youths in the city.
Another issue is the alarming rate sewage leaks in the city and water leakages. In the karmo axis for example, the company managing the water pipes are not swift in curbing pipe burst and leaks. Most time, these areas were there exist pipe burst turns to a kind of pilgrimage for motorcyclist, tricycle riders etc. The amount of water been lost is a short fall in the revenue of the FCT water board and measures should be set aside to curb this mess. I would suggest a 24 hours response mail and phone number which should be visible in the city for easy assessment and report, also lines with leakage should be stopped and in cases of sabotage, member of the FCT water board can get some technical assistance from IOCS and PPMC on monitoring pipes. It may sound absurd but if we want to be water sufficient in Nigeria, we must start prioritising water conservation, consumption and management. Also awareness should be created on throwing of sachet water on drains and sewage. This is blocking drains and creating mess in the city.
Another issue with the AEPB is its non-availability to the populace, there is no web of information; therefore information gathering and sharing is affected. Their website is not working, their twitter handle is not efficient, and their complaint mail takes days for response.
A major setback is the way and manner interchange and recreational parks in the city are now been transformed to motor parks, these should be discouraged and stopped. Another problem is market springing up on walkways in the city centre especially at Utako market axis. Drivers should be sanctioned and provision for motor parks made for them than allowing them to create traffic menace in the city eg AYA, Utako motor park junction, Wuse market axis and around Mabushi interchange.
AEPB should step up his game and aspect of communication between the populace of the city should be encouraged like town hall meeting every Saturday morning, Abuja emergency number which should be toll free. A special marshal should be set up to apprehend erring workers of the department and staff re-organisation and rotation.