The Abuja Minister said compensation will be paid to the displaced residents.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Bala Mohammed, said on Friday in Abuja that the territory would attract N500 billion from investment in the next couple of years under its Land Swap Policy.
Mr. Mohammed, who disclosed this at a “Town Hall meeting on Land Swap Initiative’’, said the groundbreaking ceremony of the “Carraway Dallas District’’ project on April 18, was a testimony of the practicability of the model.
He said the new policy, which objective is to ensure comprehensive development of districts in line with the Abuja Master Plan, had attracted huge interest from both within and outside Nigeria.
The minister said that the initiative would unlock dead capital by freeing up land with issuance of title documents globally acceptable for business activities.
“It will also encourage the development of big time real property developers as obtained in developed countries,’’ he said.
The minister listed the 17 communities that would be directly affected in the Land Swap programme as Azhata, Ketti, Dagaja, Anaknayita, Gofe, Kowyizihi, Burun, Takalafiya, Takushara 1 and 2, and Maraba 2.
Others are Sabon Burun, Maraba 1, Anguwan Mamuda, Waru, Yiyimuttu and Burum Gbagy.
He noted that some of the affected communities had expressed apprehension over the Land Swap project and said that the administration had put machinery in motion to allay their fears.
Mr. Mohammed said the administration was conscious of the fact that any massive infrastructure development in the FCT must take into consideration resettlement and compensation issues if it was to succeed.
“We shall ensure that the compensation policy adequately meets their expectations; we will give adequate employment opportunities to youths in the affected communities, among others,’’ he said.
The minister said that a committee had been set up to look into the issues of resettlement and compensation in order not to short-change the affected communities.
“We have also gone further to consider the nature, scope and type of integration policy that may be considered for adoption and we have chosen the relocation policy that is acceptable,’’ he said.
Some of the residents, who spoke at the event, commended the minister for the initiative, saying that it would enhance the development of Abuja.
Godwin Amadi, who claimed to represent the less privileged residents of Abuja, appealed to the minister to carry them along “as the cost of rent in the FCT is exorbitant’’.
Similarly, Emmanuel Nwosu, a representative of the civil society, appealed to the affected communities to accept the initiative as they would be adequately compensated.