The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Monday, in Abuja, urged Chairmen of Area Councils in the territory to put the well-being of their people first in their decisions and actions.
Bello gave the charge during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected chairmen of the six Area Councils of the FCT.
“You must learn from the mistakes of your predecessors and build on their successes.
“You should resist the temptation to discard good ideas or discontinue laudable projects because they were initiated by officials from another political lineage,’’ he said.
The minister advised the chairmen to complete all ongoing, uncompleted and abandoned projects because their completion would not only fast track development but also have direct impact on residents and visitors.
He said the completion of road infrastructure in Abuja city and satellite towns, light rail project, establishment of new schools and health facilities were testament to the present government’s achievements.
“The benefits of our actions are accruable to all the people of the territory. You should therefore imbibe this principle in your various domains.
“The FCT, as you know is the centre and symbol of national unity. You must therefore promote harmonious co-existence among various segments of the Nigerian population living in your Area Councils,’’ he added.
Bello also warned the chairmen that it was not business as usual as the opportunity to be appointed or elected into positions was actually a very enormous task.
“Governance at the third tier of government, I should reiterate, is extremely important because its impact or lack of it is felt by a majority of our people, who, I should remind you reside at that level.
“I am happy to learn that Area Council Service Secretariat has already organised an induction training programme.
“It is for you to focus on the thematic areas of procedures and protocol, leadership aptitude, procurement processes and rule of law among others,’’ he said.
The minister also warned the chairmen that temptations which come with occupying an elected office are enormous.
“But you must not lose sight of the fact that you are accountable first and foremost to your people.
“It will be in your own interest to shun all acts of corruption and use public funds for the sole purpose for which they are intended,” he advised.
Responding on behalf of other chairmen, the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Chairman, Abdullahi Candido, said all the councils received their allocation from the Federation Account with none ever missed.
He then assured FCT residents that the six Area Council chairmen would work together to ensure the progress of the territory.
Earlier, Justice Salisu Garba of the FCT High Court had on behalf of the FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, administered the oath of office on the chairmen.