The Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved the resumption of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) land swap initiative which was started during the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
The approval was given on Wednesday at the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mohammed Bello, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He said FEC approved the resumption following a memo he presented to the council.
The initiative according to the minister is to ensure the provision of infrastructure to develop the districts in the Federal Capital Territory, by swapping land with private investors who would in turn provide the necessary infrastructure. It was valued at about N1 trillion under the previous dispensation.
He said that the private investors will provide all the infrastructure within a particular district and then they will be paid for with land.
However, Bello said some amendments were made to the original form of the initiative by establishing a legal framework to protect all parties.
He said, “Today, at the Federal Executive Council meeting, I presented a memo and an update on the FCT Land Infrastructure Swap Initiative at the council. And after a lot of deliberations, the Federal Executive Council approved the FCT Land Infrastructure Swap initiative, which is popularly known as Land Swap, which was started some time ago by the previous FCT administration.
“After a review of what has transpired over the years, and changes made, the Federal Executive Council approved that we now continue with the land swap initiative on the basis of amendments to the procedures as well as new safeguards introduced so that investors, the FCT, that is the government, as well as off-takers, will be protected. So, this is what we discussed today.”
He added: “They will take a certain percentage of the land developable within that district, while the FCT administration will take a certain per cent.
“The whole essence is to encourage the development of the city according to the masterplan in designated districts and then, of course, to also to resolve the issue of compensation and payments and relocation of people as the city grows and then, of course, to reduce the overall housing deficit within the FCT. So, basically, this is the background.
“And what we have approved today is to establish a very solid legal system, whereby all the parties in this transaction are protected. And who are the parties, the first party is the investor, the second party is the FCT administration, while the third party are the off-takers.
“And in so doing, investors will create a special purpose vehicle, whereby the investors will come in and then the quantum of the investment will be determined on the basis of which the financial institutions will provide financial guarantees to the administration through performance bonds.
“And this performance bond will cover the totality of the project and will be reduced as the project is being delivered.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.