Transforming Abuja to smart city not negotiable — Wike


The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says the FCT Administration’s efforts at transforming Abuja into a smart city is not negotiable.

Wike stated this at the Annual Media Retreat of the FCT Minister’s Press Corps in Keffi on Sunday.

The retreat has the theme, “Building an Environment that Benefits a Smart City. Healthy Café: A Step Towards Effective City Management”.

The minister, who was represented by the Director of Press in his office, Mr Anthony Ogunleye, reiterated the FCTA’s commitment to creating an environment that benefits all through multifaceted efforts.

According to him, the concept of a smart city is not merely an ambitious vision but an imperative step towards ensuring sustainable urban development and an enhanced quality of life for residents.

“It involves the integration of technology, innovation, and strategic planning, to create an environment that is efficient, resilient, and responsive to the needs of its inhabitants.

“We are not only leveraging technological advancements but also prioritising health and well-being at every level of urban planning.

“Initiatives such as accessible green spaces, efficient waste management, sustainable transport systems, and promoting a healthy lifestyle contribute significantly to this vision.

“Let us, therefore, leverage the momentum of President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope” agenda and the FCT Administration’s steps towards increased revenues to propel our city into a symbol of innovation, sustainability, and inclusive growth.”

Wike implored residents to fulfil their civic duties, including timely payment of taxes such as ground rent, tenement rent, and utility bills, while the FCTA strives to meet its obligations to the residents.

The minister also described the flagrant violations of basic rules, such as traffic light violations and driving against traffic, as disheartening, adding that such actions would no longer be tolerated.

“Let us work together to build a city where both the government and the public uphold their respective responsibilities for the betterment of our beloved city.

“I urge the media to help us get this message across to all and sundry,” the minister said.

The Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, Mr Shehu Ahmad, said that plans were underway to review the Abuja Master Plan to integrate current realities in the ongoing development of the city.

Ahmad, who was represented by the authority’s Head of Public Relations, Mr Richard Nduul, said that the designs of some districts were already being captured in the planned review.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Corps, Mr Hudu Yakubu, said the retreat was organised to discuss the crucial role of the media in fostering community engagement towards building a smart city.

Yakubu said: “As a catalyst of change, the media will play a pivotal role in educating the public about sustainable practices, technological advancement, and civic responsibility in the journey towards building a smart city.”

Speaking on the role of media in the planning, development, and management of a smart city, Mr Mukhtar Galadima, Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, described the media as strategic partners in city development.

Galadima, who was represented by an official in the department, Mr Muhammed Zayyanu, said the media was playing a critical role through public enlightenment, promoting transparency, and holding government authorities accountable.

He identified some aspects of a smart city to include smart urban growth with mixed land use, innovative technologies, an intelligent transport system, walkable city with green and cycling infrastructure, intelligent waste management, and a smart economy, among others.

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