By Salisu Sani-Idris
Abuja – The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has pledged the territory’s support to the proposed Suleja Smart City Project by the Niger State Government.
Suleja is a city in Niger that shares boundary with the FCT and was originally called Abuja before the transfer of the name to the new capital city of the country.
A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.
Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the minister, in a statement on Sunday, said Bello made the pledge during a meeting with a delegation from Niger.
The delegation was led by Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the governmnet of Niger.
The FCT minister expressed delight on the proposed partnership between the FCT administration and Niger.
Bello noted that the jurisdiction for such a laudable project in a historical city as Suleja, rests with the Niger State government.
The minister, however, said that many of its beneficiaries would come from the FCT, hence the resolve to give maximum support and cooperation to the project.
“We feel highly honoured and delighted that the government of Niger State wants to partner with the FCT in this project.
“And that is why the entire management team, as well as the political leadership of the Area Councils where this is going to take place, are here in today’s meeting,” Bello said.
The minister assured that the FCTA would give all the needed support to make sure that the project comes to fruition.
Bello said that the project was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to bring development to communities, create employment and ICT based economic growth.
The minister, who described the Smart City initiative as a legacy project that would attract engineers of great repute, advised that it should be conceptualised to run on renewable clean energy.
He assured the delegation that the FCTA was prepared to deploy necessary manpower to ensure its success.
“We are working towards a Special Joint Planning Committee between Nasarawa State and the FCT, towards the development of the border communities of Karu.
“And also a road network that is going to link Nasarawa to the FCT, through Guruku, Panda up to Mpape area. So, what you are now requesting for Niger State is something that is not new to us.”
Earlier, Matane sought partnership of the FCTA in the development of a Smart City situated on an 11,000 hectares of Iand in Suleja as well as the establishment of a Suleja Smart City Company to develop and manage the Smart City.
He explained that the land falls within the Abuja-Bwari Planning District as contained in the FCT Master Plan.
He also explained that Niger State had already secured a grant from the South Korean Government and the services of an International Consultant to carry out feasibility study and to prepare a Master Plan for the city.
Matane said that the project would include smart buildings and associated infrastructure, an assembly plant for renewable energy systems and components like training institute for the youths.
This, according to him, will enable youths to learn how to assemble, repair and market renewable energy systems and its components.
“Others are ICT infrastructure for electric and autonomous vehicle as well as a green house and hydroponic farms to produce fresh fruits and vegetable for the residents and for sale to Abuja and beyond.”