Members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) paid tribute to the society's 21st president, Charles Mbanefo, who passed away at the age of 81.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the society held a tribute night in Abuja to praise Mbanefo.
NSE President Mr. Tasiu Gidari-Wudil said Mbanefo would be remembered for his contributions to the development of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through his legendary engineering prowess.
Mbanefo, who was also the pioneer president of NSE, Abuja Chapter, died on October 27 in Abuja.
On his return to Nigeria from Canada, Mbanefo joined the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) service as a Principal Engineer in 1982.
During his working career, Mbanefo was in charge of the design.
He conducted the research and approval of structural plans and supervised the construction of some main districts and monumental buildings in the FCT.
They include the Presidential Villa, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, the National Secretariat and the National Mosque.
Others are the National Stadium, Transcorp Hilton, International Conference Center, Garki 11 and Jabi districts.
Gidari-Wudil described Mbanefo as an epitome of humanity and a father to all.
“He was always getting to know us on a personal and family level. He was full of wisdom and never lacked for advice,” he said.
“Eng. Mbanefo was loved for the strong benevolent spirit of him. He is going to miss us,” he said.
Similarly, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) described him as thoughtful, intellectual, bold and strong.
According to Mr. Ali Rabiu, President and Chairman of the COREN Council, Mbanefo contributed greatly to the development of his profession and community.
“He was a hard-working person, who directed his energy at the service of God and the interests of humanity.
“`His belief in helping family and community was strengthened to serve selflessly.
“To his credit, he mentored many engineering professionals,” Rabiu said.
Chief James Agubalu, speaking on behalf of the Anambra State Town Planners Association, described Mbanefo as a man who promoted his culture and educated people to appreciate the culture of other peoples.
Mr. Christopher Chigboh, former Transport Secretary of the FCDA, expressed his sadness at the death of the Pioneer Chairman of NSE, Abuja Chapter.
Chigboh, in his tribute titled "A Great Man and a Mentor," commiserated with NSE on the death of the structural engineer.
According to him, Mbanefo lived a purposeful life in the service of humanity and his leadership qualities in the engineering sector were extraordinary and worth emulating.
Chigboh said: “Mbanefo was a great man, a mentor and a complete race engineer.
“This tribute is very difficult for me, my heart is heavy. The idea of not seeing you again hurts a lot.
“This is especially when I remember how we met in 1982 and worked together all the time.
“Among other things, he will be remembered for establishing the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Abuja Branch in 1984, where he became the pioneer president while I served as secretary.
“Mbanefo also led the team that designed the Mabuchi Ministerial Complex and in that team I was the coordinator.
“It did not end there, as a structural engineer, he played an important role in the construction of Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Catholic Church, Garki and Holy Family Catholic Church, Life Camp, Abuja.
“These contributions were indelible and reflected Mbanefo's qualities as a well-rounded, solid breed and an excellent engineer,” Chigboh said.
In addition, he described the deceased as a man who was watched while managing some of the projects in Abuja.
“I will not fail to remember that Mbanefo's purpose in establishing the NSE, Abuja chapter, then was to secure more input from local citizens.
“In fact, he was a role model and we celebrated him for a fulfilling life.
"Mbanefo remains in our hearts as we bid farewell and may God graciously grant him eternal rest in his bosom," Chigbo said.
============Edited. eniola williams
Source Credit: NAN
The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has summoned the Director Engineering, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) over the award of Karshi-Ara-Apo road without a design.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Smart Adeyemi made this known during an interactive session with Mr Azibaola Robert, Managing Director Kakatar Civil Engineering Limited on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kakatar, an indigenous company was awarded the contract in 2011. NAN also reports that the Senate committee had on Tuesday, visited the site with the Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello and that of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu for an assessment of the project.
The committee had expressed dissatisfaction with the level of work on the site which led to Friday’s meeting with the management of Kakatar.
In his remarks, Adeyemi said: “We have resolved to summon the director of engineering in FCDA to come and explain to us why the contract was awarded for two years without a drawing.
“And if they did, when was mobilisation made.
We must know where the blame is,” he said.
Earlier, the of Kakatar Mr Azibaola Robert, told the committee that the contract was awarded to his company without technical design and drawing and as such ran into several hitches.
According to him, the hitches include having to bring down a rock of about 60metres high to ground level; filled a gully to cover the height of 50m as well as having to build bridges which were not captured in the contract.
“The Karshi-Apo Road project is not a failed project but it has many teething problems.
“We have the capacity to conclude it expeditiously.
But if you don’t solve the teething problems, it will not be resolved.
” He further said that funding of the project had been very poor in the past adding that it was now better.
While speaking on the capacity of the company to execute the project, Robert said that the company as an indigenous company had the capacity to complete the project.
“The difference between us and any other person across the globe is just about 0.5 per cent.
“Some foreign companies have ability to go to their country and collect loan to execute projects “We don’t have those options.
I believe that sometimes, the Senate will look into it and give powers to individual companies to do well and compete with the foreign companies.
The Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mr Shehu Ahmad, says the rising population growth of the FCT has prompted the FCT administration to review the Abuja Master Plan.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, he said that insecurity was also part of the reasons demanding the administration to carry out the review.
The statement said that Ahmad disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the Abuja branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) 2022 Week and Annual General Meeting (AGM).
According to him, the administration is already looking at general review of the Abuja Master Plan to accommodate some of the issues not actually envisaged arising from the population growth.
He said that the administration was already working at the general review of the plan, adding that it was an issue already in process.
He disclosed that initially, the master plan was for three phases accommodating the provision of expansion to the North and South of the city, but that development was already outside the boundary.
“We will invite all stakeholders when the time comes; we have to sit down and articulate things, as well as invite them to the ground layout, not just what we see elsewhere.
“If you check, Dawaki is well planned, Katampe extension is different from what you have seen in other places, Apo is a little bit planned but there is something that needs to be done.
“The obvious thing is that the Abuja master plan is not sacrosanct and it is due for a general review.
“The original Apo resettlement was made to accommodate the indigenes that were moved from there so it was a little bit planned but it is not the same when you move elsewhere,” he said.
The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has intensified efforts towards completion of the multi-billion Millennium Tower in the nation’s capital.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who led members of the Nigeria India Business Council on a tour of projects, on Tuesday in Abuja, said government resolved to market the tower to foreign investors to ensure its completion.
” You will recall that this is my second visit here in less than two weeks.
”I was here with the Director-General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments with my colleague, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello.
” And the intention is always to see that how can we market this National asset and ensure it is completed and invite investors from both within and outside the country.
” And I want to say that it is yielding fruits, because after the last visit, we had inquiries from some serious investors.
”This time around, I am here with the members of the Nigeria- India Business Council who have been in Nigeria for the last four days.
” They been here to look at what they can invest in the area of power, infrastructure, medicine and the like.
” The minister also said the visitors came with their investors from the creative and film industry to see if this asset can of help to them.
” And I think from what we have discussed, we see a lot of encouragement coming from them.
”Because of the things that are unique here are the location and the availability of infrastructure, you don’t have to start building afresh,” he added.
The minister disclosed that members of the council have shown interest in the studios and film cruise in tower.
He, however, assured that government would continue to attract investors to help the country finish the iconic edifice.
” In terms of facilities and space when this centre is completed, we have museums, we have event centres, conference centres and we are talking about building studios and sound stages.
” So, if completed, it is going to facilitate the industry and of course, if we succeed in getting a film school, it will also help in building the capacity of our talented youths,” he added.
On his part, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said that the tower was not only a tourism hub of the city, but the nation in general.
Represented by the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mr Shehu Hadi , Bello said, ” if completed, the tower would boost the revenue profile of the FCT.
” As you can see, this is supposed to be like a tourism hub of the city and not only for the city but for the nation.
” In an edifice were you are going to have a five star Hotel and an Auditorium with the capacity of about 1,200 and we have a parking a lot we are standing over.
” We have other facilities like shops and offices.
All these are things that can be lease to draw a lot of revenue for the FCT and encourage movement of people to Abuja from all works of life.
” The minister commended Mohammed for showing determination to ensure the completion of the projects.
Also, one of the members of the council, Aasia Abbas, expressed their readiness to invest time, resource and all the talents they have in promoting creative and film industry in the country.
” We see a big future for the Nigerian film industry.
So much content, there are so many musician and artists from Nigeria going to America recording songs, why can’t they record it here?
” So, the talent is there, all you need is the good studio and we are ready to harness the talents here and to make Nigeria a global platform.
” And we can have people and students from all over Africa coming here studying, learning, developing and producing content not just for Africa but all over the world,” she said.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja will, on July 5, deliver judgment on an appeal challenging the judgement of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in respect of land ownership dispute within the Federal Capital Territory. The appeal was filed by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), River Park Estate (Jonah Capital Nigeria Ltd and House for Africa Nigeria Ltd), against the decision awarded to the plaintiffs; Blessed & Precious Children Academy Ltd, General Building Material Dealers Association Lugbe and Land Owners Association, Lugbe. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on March 14, 2011, Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court had entered judgment in favour of the plaintiffs against the FCDA, Jonah Capital Nigeria Ltd and House for Africa Nigeria Ltd as 1st to 3rd defendants for trespassing into the land of the plaintiffs. In the judgment, Justice Affen had restrained the defendants whether acting by themselves or through their agents, servants, privies or otherwise howsoever from trespassing, entering upon or interfering with or otherwise disturbing the plaintiffs’ enjoyment and possession of all the parcel of land known as Lugbe 1 Extension Layout, FCT, save as provided by law. The court also ordered that the grant or allocation made in favour of the 2nd defendant (Jonah Capital Nigeria Ltd) as expressed or contained in the Letter of Grant dated 2852007, the Development Lease Agreement dated 2852007 and the Deed of Addendum dated 1592009, was invalid, null and void to the extent that it covers, concerns, touches upon or affects all that parcel of land known as Lugbe 1 Extension Layout, Lugbe. The court ordered that the FCDA to issue certificates of occupancy to the plaintiffs upon payment of applicable processing fees; and act upon or process the applications made by or on behalf of the plaintiffs for building plan or other approvals and matters incidental thereto in recognition of the plaintiffs’ title to the plots granted to each of them in the parcel of land comprised in Lugbe 1 Extension Layout. “The defendants jointly and severally shall pay to the plaintiffs the sum of 5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) as general damages for trespassing upon the lands comprised in Lugbe 1 Extension Layout, Lugbe validly allocated to the plaintiffs,” the judge said. The court also assessed the cost of the suit at N20,000.00 in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. However, not satisfied with the judgement of Justice Affen, River Plate Estate through the 2nd and 3rd defendants filed a notice of appeal dated April 13, 2011. On March 5, 2012, the defendants filed an application for stay of execution of Justice Affen’s judgment, which was dismissed by the same court. Meanwhile, during the pendency of the suit, the plaintiffs had complained to the court and relevant agencies that the 2nd and 3rd defendants had continued to develop structures on the trespassed land despite a valid court order restraining them from doing so. Some of the documentary evidence exhibited at the appellate court include a letter on Aug. 13, 2013 by Lugbe 1 Landowners’ Association, addressed to the Inspector General of Police; a letter by Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN to the FCT Minister on Sept. 21, 2015; etc. The landowners alleged that nothing useful came out of the series of letters to the authorities over the continued threat of demolition of property under litigation within Lugbe 1 Extension as well as flagrant disobedience of a valid court order.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the collaboration among people of different ethnic groups and faith in Kuje, a suburb of the FCT, is a national model.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the vice president received a delegation from the Kuje Interfaith Community at the Presidential Villa.
The delegation was led by the Senior Pastor of the Kings Palace Church International, Rev. Sam Ogbodo.
Osinbajo received a presentation on the challenges facing people of the area, including issues of health, education, sanitation and infrastructure.
“One of the major issues that our country has to face is unity of our people – unity of the ethnic groups and unity of the faiths also, so that we are able to make real progress in the various respects that out country needs to make progress.
“One of the fault lines that we have is religious divisions and the tensions that are created when religious leaders do not act responsibly enough in bringing together men and women of different faith.
“I am really excited about what you are doing; the interfaith community in Kuje is not just a model for this zone, but a model for the country.”
The vice president commended Ogbodo for uniting the people in the area saying he had identified the social and economic issues that concerned the people in Kuje.
According to the vice president, the people are Christians, Muslims and some who do not even believe in God or who even say there is no God, but they are Nigerian citizens.
“They have every right to every one of the provisions, services and opportunities that the Nigerian nation offers anyone else.
“And I think it is so heartwarming to note how you have seen that as a primary objective, and how you are doing everything that you can to make sure that we focus on what is important for the people.
“Everyone has a right to their faith; constitutionally, there is freedom of worship, but it is leadership that must deliver on the most important thing; government must deliver on services, development issues.
“Development and civic leaders like yourself must bring this to the attention of government, as you are doing, and must champion these causes on behalf of the people; and I think that this is a real model for the rest of the country to follow.”
Osinbajo said that some of the issues raised by the delegation were already being addressed and emphasised the need for constant engagement between the people and relevant authorities.
“What might be important is continuous engagement; your being able to reach out to the authorities to know exactly what is going on so that people can be informed properly and timeously about the issues,” he said.
Earlier in his presentation, Ogbodo commended the efforts of the vice president in championing the cause of poor Nigerians, especially in the implementation of government and non-government programmes and policies.
He thanked Osinbajo for the visit to the area in 2021 and appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action in dualisation of the Kuje-Airport road and the completion of other ongoing projects and the provision of potable water in the area.
Other dignitaries at the meeting included the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Hadi Ahmad, representative of the Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Mohammed Bala and representatives of different ethnic groups and faith in the area.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said it was committed to the fulfillment of its mandate to reduce traffic congestion and Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) to the barest minimum in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Sector Commander, FCT command, Mr Oga Ochi, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja that more special operations would be put in place to ensure free flow of traffic and curb crashes.
Ochi said there had been mass deployment of personnel and vehicles to reduce traffic congestion on some routes in the FCT.
He said the corps identified some major routes in the FCT as bottlenecks in terms of traffic congestion, which often made people to drive against traffic, resulting into pedestrians being knocked down.
“When you look at a route or road like Airport road, it is one of the bottlenecks in terms of traffic congestion.
“Our deployment since March till now continues towards eradicating this. If you go to that place now from 3.00 p.m. till about 9.00 p.m., you will see mass deployment of not less than eight patrol cars.
“The number of personnel we deployed there are not less than 30 marshals and ten officers as supervisors to ensure that the rate of crashes on that road also reduces.
“Not only that, people on that road are also able to use the road comfortably with these measures put in place,” he said.
Ochi said the corps had also addressed congestion on routes leading out of FCT, like Kubwa and Nyanya.
He said the level of construction on Nyanya route had made the road restively free of traffic, saying that some parts of the road that were completed had been opened.
“This has led to the reduction of traffic congestion along the route. But all the same, we noticed that people are still riding and driving against traffic.
“We have taken note of the nuisance constituted by motorcyclists on that route. We have had several meetings with them and we are stepping up our enforcement on the use of one way on that road.
“So, these are measures we have put in place apart from public education and enlightenment.
“We have extended our public enlightenment activities to other regions and media houses. This is to make sure we get across to the motoring public at the grassroots,” he said.
The FRSC boss commended the Federal Capital Development Authority, (FCDA), but recommended that the use of commercial motorcycles in the FCT should be critically looked into.
“We strongly advise that the government should also take a stand so that we do not continue to struggle to have a crash-free and free flow of traffic in the FCT,” he said.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has disowned Prince Joseph Kpokpogiri, after the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) demolished his multi- million Naira mansion in Abuja on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that officials of FHA, alongside its Managing Director, Gbenga Ashafa, visited the site of the doomed building three days ago, in company of some top Management team of FCTA,
The officials claimed that the plot of land originally belonged to FHA, but proper building plan was not approved before the mansion was erected.
According to FHA, notices to stop work were served at different stages and time of the work, but Kpokpogiri refused to comply.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Malam Shehu Hadi, who was also in the team that visited the site, said the road alignment had been done long ago and FHA was duly notified.
Hadi noted that the alignment, which the demolished building obstructed, was designed to serve as an important bye-pass to Abuja-Keffi axis.
He added that any plan to realign the road because of the building would be difficult and not fair judgment to those that it would affect, considering that the demolished building was not in existence earlier when the plan started.
On his part, the Director, FCTA Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, said the mansion, located in the highbrow District of Guzape, Abuja, was unapproved, and couldn’t be allowed to override public interest.
Galadima noted that the mansion, sitting on a rock in the fast developing district, was an obstruction to a major road network, connecting the popular Apo Bridge to many parts of the city.
According to him, FHA has been duly allocated the area in the district, to carry out its Mass Housing Programmes.
He, however, said that when the road network of the district was officially realigned, FHA was promptly notified that some plots of lands within its area had been affected.
Galadima added that FHA was ordered not to allow any further development on the affected plots, as replacement plots would be given to them.
He also denied lack of inter-agency collaboration between FCTA and FHA, stating that all necessary communications were properly documented.
” There is adequate inter-agency cooperation, the FHA approached the FCTA for allocation, and they were given approval and were asked to make sure that whatever they did, aligned with the approval.
” The plot in question was part of what was in the allocation, but because of the importance of the road, we wrote to FHA, notifying it that a number of plots had affected the realignment of the road, and that we are going to give it replacement plots.
” We told them that no development should be allowed on the plots, and this was around 2019; we came for site visit and have given them notice.
“We even marked the building for demolition, but the owner cleaned it off,” Galadima said.
Kpokpogiri has, however, claimed that the decision to pull down his mansion worth over N700 million, was an act of oppression.
Kpokpogiri alleged that his house was demolished because he refused to sell it to some ” powerful ” but unnamed individuals who had begged him to sell the property to them.
He assured that he would fight fervently to get justice for the demolished building.
The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have identified illegal structures that block waterways as factors responsible for flooding in some parts of the city.
FCDA Executive Secretary Mr. Shehu Ahmad made this statement when he received FEMA management, led by its Director General, Malam Abbas Idriss, for a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Friday.
The secretary announced that the two dependencies have resolved to reinforce their determination not to allow anyone, no matter how high up, to build with impunity in the territory.
He said that the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has ordered the immediate removal of such structures.
Ahmad stated that the FCT Minister is concerned about the resurgence of illegal property construction on the waterways, adding that the FCT Administration would not sit idly by or sit back and allow the loss of life and property by residents. innocent.
"The FCT administration named areas such as Lokogoma, Dogongada, Trademore and Efab Estates where illegal structures blocking waterways caused flooding after just four hours of rain on Wednesday."
He said the administration would be ready to meet with the owners of such illegal properties in court if necessary.
“What is happening in the city should serve as warning enough to all that the NIMET prediction of heavy rain for 2022 during this rainy session is real.
“Therefore, the FCT minister, Bello, has ordered that all constriction in the waterways be removed and that anyone aggrieved go to court and we will be ready to meet them there.”
The secretary said most of the illegal construction found to have restricted and blocked waterways was previously removed in 2019 due to flooding that occurred at the time.
He revealed that a meeting of the relevant departments and agencies of the FCT would be convened soon to evaluate and reinforce previous resolutions on the issue of flooding in the city.
It further revealed that the FCTA is also considering awarding the contract for the full development of Ring Road II (RR II), which would involve replacing the current box culverts with some bridges.
According to him, "This is part of a permanent solution to the recurring flooding around the Lokogoma and Galadamawa roundabout."
Previously, FEMA Director General Idriss had stated that the arrival of the rains that NIMET had forecast would actually start as early as May 14, as well as flooding in some parts of the city even before that date, necessitates the need for urgent collaboration between the agency and relevant stakeholders.
"This is with a view to ensuring synergy and a coordinated response before things get out of hand."
Idriss attributed the flooding situation in the city to urbanization that has given rise to infractions such as construction on floodplains and the diversion of river courses by some real estate developers.
He called on the FCDA as the custodian of the Abuja master plan to join the agency in providing the necessary support to prevent the activities of illegal developers who carry out their activities without resorting to the effect of climate changes.
He called on residents, especially motorists, to be patient whenever it rains, saying the rain must subside to avoid road incidents that could cause unnecessary loss of life.
The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has called for greater collaboration with the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to address the problem of flooding in the nation's capital.
Mr. Abbas Idriss, Director General of FEMA, made the appeal as he led members of his management team on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the FCDA.
This is contained in a statement signed by Nkechi Isa, Head of the FEMA Public Relations Unit, on Friday in Abuja.
The Director General said that it was important to strengthen their collaboration, as it would reduce the devastating impact of the floods on the TCF.
According to him, the previous assessment showed that there were infringements, diversion of waterways and other distortions in the Abuja master plan.
“If we are going to build, let's build on the building codes and FCDA, which is the custodian of Abuja's development, must bring all stakeholders together to do what is necessary to address these distortions.
“There is also a need for properties and communities in the FCT to establish a response to establish response plans and take responsibility for their environment.
"We can help them develop a response plan, but this can be done, unless the communities buy into this idea," he said.
For his part, the Executive Secretary of FCDA, Mr. Shehu Ahmad, assured his commitment to work with FEMA to eliminate all illegal development along the floodplains.
He said that some developers liked to erect structures in undesignated areas, which in turn distorts the master plan.
He added that a joint stakeholder conference would be organized to address all perceived violations before the start of the rains.