|RT. HON YAKUBU DOGARA|
I am highly delighted to be invited to declare open this Public Hearing on two important Bills which are tailored towards grassroots social and political development of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ensure that it meets up with other emerging capital cities of the World. The bills are:
i. A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Satellite Towns Development Agency to be Charged with the Responsibility for Development and Defining the Boundaries of the Satellite Towns and for Related Matters 2015 (HB.12).
ii. A Bill for an Act to Provide For the Administrative and Political Structure of Area Councils of Federal Capital Territory Area Councils and for other Related Matters. 2016 (HB.30).
2. As we all know, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vests the law making powers in the FCT on the National Assembly. Indeed, S.303 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that: “The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall comprise six area councils and the administrative and political structure thereof shall be as provided by an Act of the National Assembly”. It is in the exercise of these powers that we are embarking on this legislative journey.
3. The first Bill is geared towards the establishment an Agency whose responsibility is to ensure accelerated development of the Satellite Towns of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through the provisions of basic infrastructural facilities for the ever growing population in the Satellite Towns, the Six Area Councils and also define the boundaries of the Satellite Towns. The absence of an enabling law has always created constraints in the operations and output of the Satellite towns as a major organ of development in the FCT.
4. The second Bill seeks to create a proper Administrative and Political Structure for the Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT). This is to ensure that FCT Area Councils are politically and administratively provided for in a law that clearly defines the extent and functions of the executive and legislative organs of the FCT Area Council and other governmental structures at the Area Council level.
5. The essence of this hearing is to engage the stakeholders to participate in the enactment of the Act through their useful inputs on the proposed Bills. The House as a democratic and public institution seeks through the instrumentality of this hearing to gather all relevant opinions and facts and take every interest into consideration in its final decisions on the matter.
6. While I thank you all for finding time out of your busy schedules to honour our invitation, I hereby declare the public hearing open. I wish you a successful and fruitful deliberations.
7. Thank you and God bless.