My projects will speak for me, Jiba, AMAC boss
My projects will speak for me, Jiba, AMAC boss
The Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Hon. Micah Jiba, has less than seven months in office. He recently reeled out his administration’s efforts and argues that history will be kind to him. He spoke with our Editor, Emmanuel OGBECHE.
You have are almost six years in office as chairman of AMAC, how would you describe this period?
Yes, six years is not six days or six months, so it was not an easy task but all I have to say is to thank the Almighty who has made this journey possible for me and my entire cabinet members.
I want to also thank the residents of AMAC for their immeasurable support, understanding, corporation and prayers for us on a daily basis because many people have been on this seat but could not complete their tenures. So far we have done our best in trying to satisfy the yearning of our people, to be sincere, we have done our best and the remaining one, we leave to God.
We were able to carry our electorate along and we ensured that during this tenure there were no crises in our communities, some difficulties experienced in our communities were reduced to the barest minimum, and the demands from our stakeholders were well attended to without sentiments.
We are quite aware that INEC has commenced the arrangement for the upcoming election, so we encourage our politicians to corporate with them, also the traditional rulers and religious leaders.
Residents are divided on your performance. Some say you have done well, others say they are satisfied with what the monthly allocation is done with. What is your take?
Well in a society, there are Judas and Thomas who will always find fault in whatever anyone does even when you are sincere in carrying out your duties, what I am trying to say is that let us fear God whenever we judge people in leadership because tomorrow we could find ourselves there too.
Since I assumed office, I have never involved myself in corrupt activities in the council’s allocation. We have dedicated every allocation into projects and programmes; there is nothing to hide anywhere because our offices are open for checks.
You know that the country is facing some financial predicament and this has affected both states and local governments. So far we have been up by doing in terms of worker salaries and wages, we have justified our allocation through carrying out some huge capital projects and no money has been diverted by me or my officials for any personal interest.
What are some of the projects you claimed to have carried?
This is very simple because the residents of AMAC will bear me witness that we have carried out such projects since I started from 2010 till date. When I came in, I promised my people that I will deliver the mandate given to me effectively and I was able to carry out and complete major projects across our communities.
Many people are still surprised at seeing some of the projects being carried out by this administration to the extent that some have mistaken AMAC projects for FCTA projects, while others have been linked to MDGS. The good thing is that those projects were singlehandedly carried out by us. We have never claimed FCTA nor MDGS projects for AMAC.
For example, the Jikwoyi township road is still intact and visible, and for N300 million the contractor that carried out that particular project is still alive. A similar project was also done in Kabusa and AMVE and the residents can attest to all these.
The FCTA has never for a day marked our projects as their projects or commissioned it as their project. In fact, any day the FCTA comes out in the public to claim any AMAC project, I will resign my office. We have other road projects in communities like Damagaza township road, Gwagwa and Jiwa on going road constructions, the water projects in Jaji, rural electrification and water projects in each community of the twelve wards of the council.
Council workers have complained of non-payment of salaries not only in AMAC but in the five other area councils. As the ALGON boss, why is this so?
We are all aware of the economic challenges the nation is experiencing, so whatever that affects the nation also affects the states and will definitely affect local governments. It is not in AMAC alone that we have experienced delay in salaries payment. Local governments in other states are facing the same difficulty, so it’s a national challenge. There is no magic that the council can do but we have so exploit other avenues to ensure that workers’ salaries are paid as at when due. There is no month that passes that we do not pay salaries and from the internal generated revenue we use it to support and complement projects and other internal matters.
AMAC is reputed to have a healthy IGR. Where have the IGR gone into?
It will take many years to compare AMAC to metropolitan councils in Lagos and those of Rivers and Kano state. For instance, about seventy per cent of visitors of AMAC do not stay as they do not have business with the council. As of the daily ticketing if the consultant is lucky he makes between N200, 000 to N300, 000 in two months which is lesser than what a director in the FCDA receives as salary. Then the tenement rate we work with, what is in the tariff after accessing the property? An occupier could pay for a two bedroom flat say N40, 000 or N50, 000 annually. Come to think of it, the wage bill of AMAC is about N50, 000 million monthly not to talk of other expenditures.
The tenement rate is not a daily activity but yearly yet some occupants find it difficult to comply. The area we think we could use as the major revenue generation hub like major markets in the council have been hijacked by the FCTA. Take the major markets; Wuse, Area One, Area 10 UTC and Garki, all pay revenue to the FCTA and when you look at it, can you compare the Utako market, which we manage, to the Wuse market?
I believe that if those markets are given back to AMAC, we will not depend any longer on federal allocation.
Since our first and second tenures, security has been our major priority and we have supported the security agencies with the best that we can. Last year we purchased ten Toyota Nissan vehicles for the police and it was commissioned by the former Minister of State of the FCT and until now we still maintain them
Particularly we maintain some vehicles in Apo police station, last year as FCT ALGON we purchased 18 Nissan vehicles and donated to FCT police command.
As an indigene of the FCT, what is your expectation of the new minister of the FCT as regards natives?
When I paid the new minister courtesy call last week, I saw a man with the heart and passion for FCT residents and indigenes. I saw a man of integrity and value for the people. I am happy to welcome him as our own governor and I believe he will carry the original inhabitants along.
I pray that God gives him the wisdom and courage to work with the indigenes to actualise the Abuja of our dreams