CITAD in the News


The Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has reacted to Federal Executive Council, FEC, approval for the Federal Capital Authority Development, FCDA, land swap initiative but cautioned that land grabbing, which the initiative was certain to promote, will serve as the major threat to food security in Nigeria.

Recall that the Federal Executive Council, at the end of its meeting, had announced that it was resuming the Land Swap Initiative, which government earlier suspended, disclosing that the “objective of the initiative is to address infrastructure gaps in the FCT by providing land to investors who in return will finance infrastructure rollout.”

However, in a statement by the Sponsorship Officer of the Abuja office, Mubarak Ekute and made available to ASHENEWS on Thursday, CITAD said that its two years of engagement with the rural communities in the FCT reveals that they are “extremely concerned about the phenomenon of land grabbing that is taking place in their communities.

“Many have lost their land which as farmers, is their only means of livelihood. Land grabbing is a major threat to food security not only in FCT but all over the country,” the Centre stated.

Though excited to see that infrastructure deficit is being addressed in the FCT rural communities, CITAD drew the attention of the concerned authorities to certain issues relating to to the land swap initiative.

“The FCT rural communities who are land owners and therefore likely to be dispossessed by the initiative were not consulted before the decision to resume the initiative was taken.

“Government has not made public its findings of investigation of the operation of the Land Swap as it suspected that it was riddled with corruption.

“Government has not explain how in the current phase, corruption would be put at bay and how the interests of rural communities would be taken into account in the new phase of the initiative.

“Government has not address any complaints of land grabbing and land misappropriation and dispossession that occurred in the earlier phase for which FCT rural communities have been the major victims.

“FCT rural communities did not benefit in terms of infrastructure development in the earlier phase, this has led many of the communities hard to reach due to the lack of roads; there is no drinking water; rural schools are scandalous sites and healthcare facilities do not exist,” the statement reads.

CITAD advised Nigerian government to further suspend the resumption of the land swap initiative until:

“It has carried out consultations among the citizens of the FCT, particularly rural dwellers and come up with concrete and realistic plan for addressing rural infrastructure, not just infrastructure with the FCT urban area.

“It makes public the report of its investigation of the abuses of the initiative in the first phase, leading to its suspension and propose clear, adequate and realistic measures to stop and mitigate the problems of land grabbing in the FCT rural communities,” the Centre said.

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