Coping without a minister : The FCT example

August 15th, 2019

About three months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term ministers handed over to permanent secretaries of respective ministries precisely on May 28, 2019, following expiration of that tenure, FCT was not an exception. DANIEL TYOKUA examines the happenings within the territory.

In the eyes of many, it appears impossible for the Federal Capital Territory Administration to succeed in its policies and programmes again because there was no minister in place to run the affairs.

Unarguably, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa kitted with renewed vigour and determination without delay started consolidating on the success recorded within the four years of APC led government in the nation’s seat of power.

He continued with the journey by first visiting the ongoing N19.4 billion Karshi satellite town of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, .

At the water works site to inspect the work and equipment for the project, the permanent secretary expressed satisfaction with the progress of the work which he said is designed to supply water to the Karshi area. He said it will also generate employment and increase economic activities such as farming.

The FCT Permanent Secretary also explained that the inspection visit was to ascertain that the work being done on site is consistent with what is stated in the Variation Certificate submitted by the company before payment is made.

He revealed that FCTA has made necessary provisions in the 2019 budget to ensure that the project is continued which he said it is expected to be completed before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office.

Despite what appears to be a tight schedule for the permanent secretary, Ohaa was carrying out all his duties. During the visit of the Deputy Speaker of the Korean National Assembly, Hon. Lee Ju Young to Nigeria/Korea Model School, Piwoyi, the Permanent Secretary, expressed the appreciation of the people of the FCT to the Government of the Republic of Korea for its contribution to the educational development of Federal Capital Territory.

He described the establishment of Nigeria/Model school as a proof of fruitful and beneficial relationship that exists between both countries.

His words: “It is also my pleasure to welcome you to the Nigeria-Korea Model School which is the result of a very fruitful relationship between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Republic of Korea”.

With the victory signs in FCT under his watch, Sir Ohaa refused unnecessary praises and names from men even in the media, he refused the title of ‘Acting Minister’ of the FCT being ascribed to his name.

He told the public and media professionals that, he is Permanent Secretary of the FCTA and not an ‘Acting Minister’ as there is no such designation in the civil service structure or the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary craves the indulgence of the public to refrain from creating nonexistent portfolios, in this instance, ‘Acting Minister’, for him as a career civil servant. According to him, he could not be acting for a Minister, as there was none at the moment. He therefore requested for the kind compliance of all.

Again, on reading one of the reports about alleged illegal activities at Karu abattoir in the media, the permanent secretary didn’t hesitate in taking urgent steps to ascertain the situation.

Ohaa with other senior officials of FCTA visited the abattoir and warned the management against any act that will portray the place in a bad light.

He said the administration was concerned with the activities that will present FCT in a good light before visitors and the residents.

“FCTA is disturbed by reports about the brazen sale of illegal drugs and prostitution in the abattoir, we are urging the managers of the abattoir to rid of all forms of criminalities in order to avoid severe consequences”.

He also advised them to work very closely with security agencies by reporting those involved in criminalities around the abattoir.

The FCT Permanent Secretary, while encouraging the butchers and other workers in the abattoir to carry out their businesses peacefully in accordance with the law, assured them that the FCT Administration would put in place measures to eradicate the evils and illegalities being witnessed in all abattoirs in the FCT.

With rekindled commitment to people’s wellbeing, FCTA under the leadership of Ohaa donated cash to some destitute families with multiple births to assist them feed well.

On diseaster issues, the permanent secretary directed the Department of Development Control under the coordination of Mukhtar Galadima to clear structures built on the water channels.

According to him, “Is better to save lives than buildings, so all houses developed against the Abuja master plan must be pulled down”

Ohaa also regretted why flood will be claiming lives because of wrong planning and people will keep mum over it. He insisted that the administration was not going to leave any stone unturned to ensure that the flood issue is overcome.

To demonstrate the administration’s care for residents, all the illegal structures built on the waterways were pulled down to ease free flow of water.

Another foray is the education, Ohaa summoned school principals and heads to a meeting and warned them to go the extra mile to justify the trust parents have in them.

He said the warning became imperative following his receipt of a complain from school of the blind at Jabi, that two male teachers were alleged to have sexually assaulted some of the blind female students.

Without delay, the FCT Permanent Secretary matched his word with action and ordered for the immediate suspension of the teachers as well as asked them to vacate the school environment.

The FCTA Permanent Secretary, Ohaa also flagged-off sensitization and distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers affected by flood across the Six Area Councils.

He told the farmers that the administration was disturbed by the incident that render many of them without possible means of survival homeless.

Recently, the FCT Permanent Secretary visited the FCT Commissioner of police, Bala Ciroma to condole with him on behalf of the good people of FCT over the killing of its officer by Shiites members with also Corp member that was serving with channels Television, Precious Awolabi.

At the just concluded Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the needy groups and persons were considered by FCTA to enjoy the Sallah.

The FCT Administration distributed food packages and cows to fourteen needy groups in the territory to enable them celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.

During the distribution of the items in old parade ground Garki, to the welfare associations, the FCT permanent secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa said the gesture was a tradition of the administration in identifying with the vulnerable at festivities.

“It is our tradition that we show the sense of humanity by ensuring that those who cannot provide for themselves especially during festivities have something to eat with their people.

“The FCT Administration does not select festivals, whether sallah celebration or Christmas it all depend as they come yearly. We believe that Almight Allah will be with our Muslim faithful as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, pray for Nigeria and FCT, which we will have peace and also be among those striving for peaceful co-existence”

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