By Wisdom Acka
Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) Executive Secretary, Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin has called on all staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the FCDA to have a team spirit, saying that it was the sure way to development.
Jibrin made this call while commissioning a renovated secretariat for the Joint Union Action Commitiee (JUAC) in Area 11, Garki, last week.
The FCDA boss said: “if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. We chose to go far, that is why we are here with you as your members”.
Tasking JUAC members to engage only in productive deliberations in the now comfortable office, Jibrin charged: “I urge you to make the best use of it (the renovated secretariat) to advance the cause of staff, the FCTA and every body that will have anything to do with us”. Jibrin also prayed God, “in his infinite mercies”, to be with JUAC”.
FCTA-FCDA JUAC Chairman, Matilukuro Oluwakorede, while commenting on the significance of renovated office said: “Today’s commissioning is a landmark in the history of the FCT. I wish you had seen this office before now. It was not befitting and whenever it rained, we had to postpone meetings, it was not comfortable and it put us under stress and a person under stress will never come out with good resolutions, but thank God, we were able to manage it. Now that we have a better office, you can be sure that when we are discussing issues about staff, positive things will come out.
“It will motivate our members in a lot of ways. We all like good things. It is wonderful. It is awesome. What’s good to the eyes is also good to the heart. Something good will follow it in terms of fighting for the needs of staff”.
Also naming areas that required improvement in terms of staff welfare, Oluwakorede stated: “In a lot of ways, to start with, our salary is very poor. Crazily poor, but we know that we belong to the Federal… and we hope the salaries and wages, in connection with the minimum wage, will actually address that.
“Apart from that, we feel that FCTA too can still do something. There are so many of our staff that go as far as into the central sewage….you cannot overrule the harzards inherent with some of our services.
“And more importantly, accommodation is a major problem in the FCT. As we speak, about 80 percent of our staff are not even accommodated. Some that are accommodated, go as far as Nyanya, even Keffi. Some come from Yaba, some from Abaji. Before they access the roads and get to the office every morning, its tideous
“We are going to be taking things one by one. And we know we will get there. And now that we have a good relatinship with the management, the avenue is widely open for us to take issues to them, and we believe that God will help us deliver on this and make things happen around here so that staff can enjoy a better life”.
The JUAC Chairman therefore suggested a way forward in the provision of affordable and quality houses to staff, saying that the management should crash housing cost by providing basic infrastructure on sites and providing loan facilities for staff to acquire them.
“So what we are saying is that they should provide the land, provide the infrastructure, let developers come and develop it so that houses that are ordinarily supposed to go for N5 million can come down to N3 million, for example, and staff can take it up as a loan and gradually pay it up and everyone will be happy.
“In as much as management has moved away from just building houses and allocating them out, what we are saying is that civil servants are ready to buy now; we are just saying that give us something at reasonable amounts and prices”.
Oluwakorede noted that the FCT Management, by virtue of being managers of FCT land, should do the needful and ensure its staff are accommodated.