The minister said he is acting within the law for the Nigerian land.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Bala Mohammed, on Monday said that the FCT Administration has the responsibility of constructing all public facilities within the Nigerian capital.
The minister said this through his Senior Special Assistant on Information Management Systems, Jamilah Tangazah.
He was responding to media reports on the N4 billion earmarked for the building of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, AFLPM, as contained in the proposed 2013 FCT Administration budget.
Mr. Mohammed said Decree No. 6 of 1976 that created Abuja also simultaneously created the Federal Capital Development Authority with duties and responsibilities to plan, design, provide the infrastructure and construct public buildings as well as services to the entire 8,000 square kilometres of the capital.
He said that in 1996, the AFLPM had been involved in debating issues of great relevance to African women, children and youth with issues of social injustice inclusive.
He said that as part of its obligation to live up to its international responsibilities, Nigeria accommodates some international bodies as done across the globe, adding that the cost of rent for such bodies tend to be above N1 billion in a year.
Mr. Mohammed said the proposed headquarters of the African First Ladies Peace Mission building is an opportunity to save cost by using the AFLPM building to serve multiple roles in providing office accommodation, as well as housing, not just the African First Ladies Peace Mission but to other international bodies.
He claimed that by proposing to build the AFLPM edifice, the Abuja administration is only acting in accordance with its duty and responsibilities as required by law.
The land upon which the building is to be erected has already created a legal tussle between the current first lady, Patience Jonathan, and her predecessor, Turai Yar’Adua.
Mrs. Yar’Adua, through her pet project, had been allocated the land while in office; it was revoked by Mr. Mohammed and handed over to AFLPM, a project championed by Mrs. Jonathan.
Mr. Mohammed emphasised that the Abuja administration has submitted the budget to the National Assembly to debate on and give its final approval based on requisite needs of the nation’s capital as dictated by local, national and international postulations.
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