The formation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was based on the report of Justice Akintola Aguda Panel, a body established to advice the federal government on the desirability of a new FCT outside of Lagos.
The report was eventually implanted and FCT was created on 3rd February 1976 from parts of Nssarawa, Kogi and Niger states, pursuant to Decree No. 6 as promulgated by the late Murtala Mohammed. Despite its strategic location, the entire satellite towns are still battling with infrastructure deficit, thirty-nine years after its creation.
Towns in AMAC, Kuje, Bwari and Gwagwalada are taunted with poor infrastructure like absence of portable water, good road network, and recreational facilities as well as epileptic power supply which is common sight in Nigeria.
The FCT, which have been marked with horrible tales of demolition by successive government in their bid to restore the master plan, may likely spend more than 5 decades waiting for a stroke of luck to address the infrastructure deficit.
Four years age, FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to fast track the completion of Kuje, inaugurated a taskforce completion of Kuje- Gwagwalada road. Motorists plying the busy road mandated the team, which was headed by the Former FCT Minister of State, Rtd captain Navy Caleb Olubolade, to reduce the traffic gridlock experience.
Despite its nearness to the city, the work has been moving on snail speed. Some portion of the road was shoddily constructed while greater parts have been abandoned.
Apart from dilapidated road network linking to many villages the only government hospital is Kuje General hospital, which was formally designated as FCT Ebola Isolation center last year.
Accessibility to portable water is still a mirage as many residents depended on Mairuwa, local water vendors for their daily water needs whom mostly fetch from broken pipes close to drainages.
A resident of Pegi in Kuje area council, Mr. John Shokwolu wondered why successive government shunned the development of satellite towns insisting that the grassroots contributed greatly towards the development of the country through agriculture.
He pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritize the development of satellite towns as apart of his administrations agenda saying that such move would likely attract more investors into the city.
A visit to Bwari area council is also true reflection of underdevelopment and neglect as major roads were littered with filths while the drainages have been submerged by broken items like-wise refuse generated by the residents.
Though few access roads were constructed but a good number of them remained dilapidated despite the presence of Bwari Law School. Most of the architectural designs rarely conformed to the generally accepted building pattern and are almost overlapping each other.
Without the existence of borehole and well water; the residents would be have been challenged in getting their daily eater needs.
Located about 10 kilometers away from Sunny Ville Estate in Lokogoma district, Kabusa is another satellite town in Abuja Municipal Area Council with mixed settlers from Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Tiv though It’s predominately occupied by the Gbagyi’s.
Over 60 per cent of the houses are constructed with mud blocks and makeshift toilets, a situation that led to increase cases of open defecations. The town had consistently witnessed daily influx of people since the house were relatively cheaper compare to houses at the city center. The fact that it was littered with dirt, broken bottles and barely stinking was not a challenge to most residents who were unable to foot the high cost of rent at the city center.
This situation is not different with other satellite town at Gwagwalada area council. There is near or total collapse of infrastructure as both electricity and road network have been totally neglected. Despite the establishment of University Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja, the town remained underdeveloped.
The locals get their daily water need from stream, which is why cholera outbreak and all forms of water borne disease in the past had ravaged them. For residents in the township, their source of water supply is from Mairuwa and well water.
During the inauguration of completed roads projects in Kwali area council, the immediate past Minister of state, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide said the provision of good road network was crucial in attending the country’s social economic transformation.
According to her, The FCTA rolled out a massive plan in partnership with area councils for infrastructure development and provision of amenities in area councils and satellite towns. Despite these assurances, the administration failed to address the infrastructure deficit in these satellite towns.
However, at the just concluded Engineering Week and Annual General Meeting of Abuja Branch of Nigeria Society of Engineers, the Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Engr. Mohammed Sani Haruna said Nigeria needed about $100 billion to address infrastructure deficit in the areas of road, rail, and oil and gas housing was excluded from this list.
He regretted that oil boom triggered off demand for foreign goods, which undermined infrastructure development stressing that several attempts by previous governments to achieve economic advancement and sustainability failed to yield positive results.