By Ignatius Okorocha
The Senate and authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA), on Thursday disagreed over the actual status of Abuja Geographic Information Systems ( AGIS) , should be in the face of legal instrument being worked upon by the upper legislative chamber .
While the Senate on the strength of a bill sponsored by Senator Mohammed Hassan Gusau ( PDP Zamfara Central) , seeks to provide legal instrument for AGIS in making it a full fledged agency,FCTA management said there was no need for that.
Disagreement over the status of AGIS came to the fore at the public hearing organised by the Senate Commitee on Federal Capital Territory ( FCT, Abuja ) on bills seeking legal backing for the Federal Capital Territory College of Nursing and Midwifery and the one seeking for an Act to Establish the Abuja Geographic Information Systems .
Senator Gusau had in his presentation as sponsor of the bill on AGIS said the Unit needed to be made a full fledged agency backed with law.
According to him , AGIS as just a unit or land department cannot cope with myriad of problems associated with application , processing , allocation and management of land if not given the required legal teeth as a full fledged agency.
” AGIS as it is now , finds it very difficult to cope with problems such as unattended applications for land , processing , multiple allocations , land documents forgeries , inefficient revenue generation etc ” , he said .
Meanwhile in his submission, the Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello , said AGIS should be left the way it is now .
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration , Dr Olusade Adesola , said rather than creating a big bureaucracy as proposed in the bill, information technology capability of AGIS should be strengthtened for better service delivery .
He said: “Upon an in-depth review of the above-mentioned Bill in the context of the mandate of the AGIS as a technical Department, it is our considered opinion that the passage of this Bill will merely amount to the addition of a bureaucratic layer to Land Administration system in the FCTA.
“This Distinguished Committee may wish to note that the core function of the AGIS is to record, store and manage geospatial data on land and attributes generated by core stakeholders in Land administration in digital form.
” Accordingly, a passage of this Bill in its current form, will conflict with the roles of existing statutory Departments and may be rather disadvantageous.
” Furthermore, the responsibilities of AGIS enumerated above, does not require the establishment of an Agency. Its need would be better served through strengthening its Information Technology capability as
currently being done by the FCTA”.
The Minister however commended the Senate on the move to give the FCT College of Nursing and Midwifery , required legal instrument .
” Generally , we have carefully perused the entire bill and find it appropriate” , he said .
Several other stakeholders in the Federal Capital Territory , made presentations on the proposed bills, which the Chairman of the Committee , Senator Abubakar Kyari ( APC Borno North), said would be fully reflected in reports to be submitted to the Senate later .