The federal government has approved the continuation of the Federal Capital Development Authority land swap scheme which started under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Mohammed Bello, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), made this disclosure at the end of the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday.
In 2015, the house of representatives committee on FCT had faulted the land swap programme, alleging that it is fraught with irregularities and a negation of the provisions of the original Abuja master plan.
The minister said FEC approved the resumption of the programme following a memo he presented to the council.
The initiative whose worth was put at about N1 trillion under the previous dispensation was designed to remedy the infrastructure deficit in the federal capital by swapping land with private investors who would in turn provide necessary infrastructure.
Bello said the essence of the programme is to encourage the development of FCT according to the master plan 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.
He said some amendments were made to the original form of the initiative by establishing a legal framework to protect all parties.
“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,” he said.
“And this performance bond will cover the totality of the project, and will be reducing as the project is being delivered. And then the land that is going to be used as swapping for the investment is going to be held in custody by designated financial institution, which will serve as the as the custodian. Because, of course, as milestones are being achieved, land will be released to the investors which, obviously, they will sell and use to pay for their investment.”