‘Abuja Beats Dubai in Infrastructure’

By Tajudeen Suleiman and Nicholas Uwerunonye

Adamu-Alfa-Abu,-Deputy-Director,-engineering-Services,-FCDA,-AbujaAdamu Alfa Abu, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and Director of Engineering Services, Federal Capital Development Authority, says what has made Abuja a special city is the quality infrastructure provided


What does the Engineering Department do?

The Engineering Department is fundamentally charged with the responsibility of planning and development of engineering infrastructure in the Federal Capital City. I said Federal Capital City because there is another sister agency called the Satellite Towns Development Agency, which is in charge of infrastructure facilities outside the city. We are in charge of the main city.

These engineering infrastructures comprise the planning and development of the road network within the territory; planning and development of water infrastructure within the capital city; planning and development of electrical engineering infrastructure, telecommunications facilities and all related projects from the primary end to the tertiary end. That is what we do.


In what ways has your department contributed to the Transformation Agenda of the FCT Minister and President Goodluck Jonathan administration?

One of the cardinal principles of the Transformation Agenda is the development of infrastructural facilities. What has made Abuja a special city is the quality and standard of infrastructure provided. Abuja is now a world-class city due to the standard and quality of the infrastructural facilities and this has been achieved by the support, collaboration and direction of the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed.


What are the major projects you have executed under the present FCT Minister?

A lot has been achieved under Senator Bala Mohammed. Principally, if we talk of road infrastructure, we have done a lot. Let’s talk about primary roads – the roads linking the city to other regions such as the Airport Expressway, the Kubwa Expressway and the road going through the Karu axis. Anybody living in Abuja would know that these roads (Kubwa and Airport roads) are world-class roads. The third one is almost 80 per cent completed. These are the major primary road networks. At the district level, a number of district infrastructure are being provided. A lot of work is going on in Wuye, Jahi, Kagini and Maitama extension. All these are new projects awarded under this administration, apart from the infrastructural projects inherited from previous administration such as the one in Guzape and other places.

Another major achievement of this administration is the expansion of water treatment facilities at Usman Dam. Phases three and four water treatment plant project increased the water production capacity of the FCT substantially by about 100 per cent. Until now the capacity of the water treatment plant there was 10 million litres per hour. But after the completion of the phases three and four projects, the capacity has now increased to 20 million litres per hour. This is a major achievement.

Also, you may not see our electrical infrastructure directly because Abuja is a special city; it is not a city where you do the roads first, then the light and then come back to do the water. No, they are all taken at the same time. So the electrical infrastructure to support the city is really done at the district level, and this is done by the construction of 33KV sub-station. Every district has this.

It is the same for sewage disposal. It is only in Abuja where you don’t find suck-away or septic tanks. Why? Because there is a network of pipes that collect your sewage from houses and take to the main sewage treatment plant at Wugpa. It is part of the packaged infrastructural facilities we provide in the city.

Another achievement of this administration is the diversification of revenue sources. Because of the dwindling financial resources available, they have now gone into public-private partnership. Partnership with the private sector is the next stage of development. The Katampe District infrastructure is already a model project of this administration. There is also the land swap initiative of this administration to open up more districts. About 10 new districts are currently undergoing planning, and they are already at various stages of completion. And it is collaboration with the private sector to provide district infrastructure at no cost to the government. The private sector would provide the infrastructure and later recoup its money from the sale of the plots of land to developers. It takes off pressure from the government and allows government to use its resources for other sectors. The private sector investor would develop the district to standard specifications like other districts built by government. It is the responsibility of this department to ensure that standards are met.


Apart from the major entry roads, are there other roads done by this administration?

Yes, as I told you, apart from the entry roads, we also have at district level. Katampe, Jahi, Wuye, Kaginin, Maitama extension, Guzape I and Guzape II, and we are now planning 10 other districts through the land swap initiative.


Are this development activities taking place only in Abuja city?

If you remember, the Federal Executive Council recently awarded a contract for infrastructure development of a district; it is a satellite district. So we are not leaving the satellite towns out.


What is your assessment of Senator Mohammed as an administrator and his passion for the development of the FCT?

I think, without mincing words, the minister is very passionate about the progress of the FCT and passionate about driving the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. During the media tour, if you remember, a lot of credit was given to Senator Bala Mohammed by the minister of information. If we should match our progress with our allocation, one can say confidently that a lot has been achieved.


Do you think the engineering infrastructure in the city of Abuja meets international standards? Can Abuja be compared to any other major city in the world in terms of infrastructure standards?

Even before you asked this question, I told you that our infrastructures are world class. Our own even surpassed some of the standards you see around the world. Go to Dubai where our people love to go, there is no infrastructure there that is better than what we have here. Go to London, it is the same. If not in Abuja, where do you see infrastructure facilities lasting more than five years? Even the roads we’re rehabilitating now were constructed some 30 years ago. The early comers to Abuja know that the roads in Wuse were all completed around 1982, and it is just this year that we are just resurfacing them. If they are not world class, they wouldn’t have lasted this long.

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