The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration said that it is set to review the allowances and salaries of traditional rulers within the territory.
The FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, who was represented by FCT Mandate Secretary, Abdullahi Bappa, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday at the Official Foundation laying ceremony of the Byazhin Model Market, Kubwa Abuja.
According to him, the need to review and upgrade the salaries and allowances came after a team of supervisors visited some of the area councils on the traditional rulers’ challenges and also, proffer solutions.
The challenges, he said, have left some of the councils like Kwali and Abaji in debt and are unable to pay salaries and allowances to traditional rulers, allowances of past office holders and staff of the councils.
“Funds are a major challenge to so many of them but we have made a case for them and are meeting tomorrow or next week to deliberate on how to pay certain percentages of these outstanding dues and also give them an upgrade.
“Also, the palaces of these Chiefs are in bad shape and not conducive enough for them who are the custodians of our culture.
“We would try and give the palaces a new touch so that we are not left embarrassed when tourists come around.”
On the remodeling of the Byazhin market, Mr. Bappa said that the market would bring about an increase to the economic well-being of the people in the community, increase revenue base of the council as well as that of the FCT.
The Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, Musa Dikko, also said that the market would bring about increase in levies and taxes to be collected for further development in the communities.
He said that the Byazhin community was one of the largest community in the area and so deserved a “befitting model market that would bring about tourism, unity, employment and beauty of the community.”
Mr. Dikko also gave the assurance that the market developers would do their best to deliver a well-structured market that could be compared to any model market in the FCT.
Also speaking at the event, a member of the House of Representatives, Bitrus Jisalo, (APC-AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency), gave the assurances of the National Assembly to support development in the councils.
Mr. Jisalo, while commending the chairman for a job well done, urged him to ensure necessary support is given to mostly, women and youths in the community.
According to the developer, Adebayo Ojisua, the market structure would encompass within it, four main blocks of shops, offices, warehouses, clinics, banks and ATM facilities among numerous others.
He said that the structure would be designed to serve as a hub for other markets within the territory and is situated close to a mass populace of farmers to ease functionality.
Mr. Osijua, while promising to work with speed and diligence, appealed to the Bwari Area Council to “facilitate opening up of connecting network of roads” in order to have easy access, for the progress of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Emir of Bwari and other traditional rulers, political office holders, partners in the project, Heads of departments of the Bwari Area Council attended the foundation laying ceremony.