Sunday, July 14, 2024

Wike To Relocate Abuja’s Largest Mechanic Village

Minister of the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has taken concrete steps to relocate Abuja’s largest mechanic village, known as Apo Mechanic Village, to a permanent site, 25 years after the idea was first proposed by the FCT Administration.

Wike dismissed speculations that the Administration had given a deadline for occupiers of the mechanic village to move out or risk demolition, stating there was no such directive. He also warned officials against nepotism in the allocation of shops.

The move aims to relocate thousands of auto technicians, spare parts dealers, and other ancillary service providers from their current location to a more expansive permanent site in Wasa district, a 15-minute drive from their current location.

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While inaugurating a 19-member Technical Committee on the relocation of the auto technicians from Apo to Wasa on behalf of the Administration, the Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency (AMMC), Chief Felix Obuah, said the technicians had lost hope over the years, fearing that the area could be demolished at any time.

Obuah stated that instead of immediate demolition, the Wike-led Administration has decided to provide a better alternative and ensure an orderly migration before demolishing the current site to expand the roads.

Obuah said, “Two weeks ago, we held a meeting to discuss the relocation of the Apo mechanics who had been operating on the right of way. We have set up a technical committee to survey Wasa and Apo to identify those we need to relocate. This will allow us to provide an accurate timeline for the relocation. We are verifying and creating a database to ensure everyone we are relocating is actually on the road corridor.”

He emphasized, “We are not treating this as a casual exercise. We are relocating those who have lost hope and do not have anywhere to trade from the road corridor. The hope that was lost has been restored by Mr. President through the Minister, and I assure you that the entire process will be completed within three months.”

Obuah added that the goal is to ensure Abuja maintains its status as Nigeria’s capital.

The Minister approved the relocation of those occupying the right of way to allow for construction in the area.

The 19-member technical committee includes representatives from Development Control, Abuja Environment Protection Board (AEPB), Urban Affairs, Resettlement and Compensation, General Counsel and Legal Services, Lands, Urban and Regional Planning, Mapping and Surveying, Finance and Administration, and the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS/VIO), among others.

The committee’s responsibilities include enumerating eligible auto mechanic-technicians/dealers for relocation to Wasa, preparing the relocation site, handling compensation matters, establishing site boundaries, identifying areas for integration, and reviewing the layout.

The Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Makama, acknowledged that the issue has been unresolved for over 25 years and thanked the coordinator for taking action within three months in office.

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