Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello is obviously not happy with many public parks in Abuja that have become hideouts for criminals.
“Many parks have become hideouts for criminals, are untidy and become concrete jungles with little regards for the green purposes for which they were established.”
The minister spoke yesterday, August 1, after taking a tour of the Millennium Park in Abuja, before he declared it open for use after being closed to the public in 2020 as part of the Administration’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID -19.
Muhammad Musa Bello lamented that about 95 percent of parks do not comply with the park policy of the FCT Administration and blamed weak it on weak enforcement practices.
The minister however commended the management of the Millennium Park, which he said represents what parks and gardens in the nation’s capital should look and function like.
“What we have seen today and what we have witnessed is what truly a Park is supposed to be in Abuja; very beautiful well-kept lawns with fountains and the protection of the ecosystem.
“The trees here are as old as Abuja, the water body, the fish and the alligators have been protected and more importantly, this is truly speaking, what Abuja stands for – a beautiful green city.
“Look at the bamboo grove, at the bamboo benches, that is the whole essence of what we are trying to do with parks in the FCT.
“There is an area for adults, there is a playground for children, there is a place for people who want to exercise and those who want to just observe and study nature. More importantly, materials used here are also sustainable. This is what a park should be.
“They have an opening time, they have a closing time, they have perimeter fence, they have light, they have security, they have toilets and they have points where you drop litter.
“The world over, a park is a place where you are supposed to come and have peace and tranquility, to either exercise or meditate.”
Musa Bello appreciated Salini Nigeria Ltd for constructing and maintaining the park as well as making it available for public use at no cost to the government or the residents of the Territory.
The minister then presented a latter of appreciation to Engr. Gerrano D’ittria,, who represented the Managing Director of Salini Nig Ltd.
The Minister also announced that as part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the park will be limited to only members of the public who are vaccinated against the disease, saying that the park has been designated as a COVID-19 vaccination center where residents can be vaccinated against the disease.
This was even as Mr. Gerrano D’ttria commended the Minister’s resolve to reopen the park and reiterated his organization’s readiness to continue to partner with the FCT Administration in meeting challenging situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that his company constructed the park as part of its corporate social responsibility to the government and residents of the FCT.