The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has taken the opportunity presented by the proposed national dialogue to call for the establishment of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) House of Assembly to enable it makes laws for the nation's capital.
Under the 1999 Constitution, the National Assembly is responsible for making laws for the FCT.
The demand was one of the high points of the presentation made by the FCT to the National Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, which was in Abuja yesterday to take contributions from stakeholders on how the national dialogue should be organised.
The FCTA's position was read by the Chairman, FCT Steering Committee on National Dialogue, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, who stressed that the legislative organ, when established, would ensure better efficiency in the administration of the nation's capital.
According to him, the National Assembly is preoccupied with diverse national issues, which hardly leaves it with enough time to legislate effectively for the FCT.
He said the Abuja project, which was supposed to have been completed within 25 years, was now in its 37th year, adding that the level of development is still at 25 per cent due to inadequate funding.
“We suggest that the FCT should be restored as a federation project and be funded from the Consolidated Revenue Fund by allocating five percent of the funds to the FCT.
"The FCT also wants a fixed tenure of not less than four years for the office of the FCT minister, who should be addressed as ‘administrator’ since the minister is like a state governor, who administers a territory and therefore needs sufficient time to plan and implement policies and projects," he added.
Umar stressed the need to bring the FCT judiciary under the FCT political and administrative structure to reflect what was obtainable in the various states of the federation.
He also suggested that pending issues of resettlement and compensation should be resolved to avoid feelings of marginalisation and insecurity in the territory.
"While the FCT commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the bold step taken to convene a national dialogue with a view to addressing the unity, stability and progress of Nigeria, we further suggest that the national dialogue should be through a combined process of nomination and selection with a total of 500 delegates as participants," he said.