By Kabir Muhammad
The Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mr Ishaku Yamawo, says about N19 billion has been spent on various projects in satellites in two years.
Yamawo stated this during the handover ceremony to the Director of the STDD, Mr Felix Nwankwo, on Friday in Abuja.
“Payment of capital projects witnessed uncommon improvement with the sum of N9,384,207,854 released under 2017 capital project.
“And over N10 billion released under the 2018 capital year being the first time in the history of STDD capital projects,’’ he said.
He regretted that the department could not get autonomy to become an agency but expressed optimism that Nwankwo would achieve such objective.
Yamawo said when he took over he discovered some lapses which included inadequate budgetary provision, lean release of funds to execute projects and programmes and under utilisation of service/support units.
He recalled that over 80 per cent of contractors handling projects abandoned their sites in satellite towns.
“The policy changes on the status of the STDD, resulting to ineffective satellite towns’ development.
“Efforts are being made to regenerate and restore the status of the STDD to STDA for the benefits of the citizenry.
“Today, I can tell you that we have completed some projects, such as that at Gbagalape road, Karu embankment, Byazhin road in Kubwa, one in December in Gwagwalada, and many others.
“If you go round the six area councils, you will see the presence of STDD,’’ the coordinator said.
According to him, the only challenge was for STDD to become Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA), so that it would have its own autonomy to operate like other secretariats.
“And that is the only thing I can say I regret leaving behind. I thought I was going to achieve that during my tenure, but God has done it the other way round,’’ he said.