As far back as the 1960s, when the administrative headquarters of Nigeria was in Lagos, there has been a special ministry specifically created for the administration of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.
From the days of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa to Aguiyi Ironsi, the first military administration in Nigeria, down to the regime of Yakubu Gowon, no one planned to change the FCT to Abuja under the military regime of Murtala Muhammed in 1976 which he called the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCTDA).
The mandate of the FCTDA was to develop a befitting capital for Nigeria including the planning, design, and construction of the FCT.
The regime of Murtala regime in 1976 mapped out Abuja as the FCT from three states: Niger, Kogi, and Nasarawa, but the real building of Abuja as Nigeria’s capital didn’t begin until the 1980s.
The master plan of Abuja as FCT was designed by a globally renowned architect Kenzo Tange, a Japanese who had undertaken similar projects in several continents around the world.
By 1979, the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) and FCTDA was put under it.
Who Moved FCT From Lagos to Abuja?
By Thursday, December 12, 1991, the military regime of Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) moved the administrative headquarter of Nigeria from Nigeria’s commercial city to Abuja.
It was called the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory until the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo on December 31, 2004, announced the scrapping of MFCT and established the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) headed by a minister.
The Composition of the administration of Capital Territory
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration is like a state governor. As such, the FCTA has departments, agencies, secretariats (something similar to state ministries), and other units for a coordinated administration of the capital territory.
The minister, who is appointed by the President, is ably assisted by a Permanent Secretary, a career civil servant, and directors.
8 Agencies Under The Abuja Federal Capital Territory Administration
- Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC)
- Area Councils Services Commission (ACSC)
- Abuja Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
- Federal Capital Territory Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board (FCT CPWB)
- Federal Capital Territory Board Of Internal Revenue (FCTBIR)
- Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)
- Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre (AIIC)
- Federal Capital Territory Muslim Pilgrims Board (FCT MPB)
Seven Secretariats of the FCTA
The seven secretariats under the FCTA are:
- Education Secretariat
- Social Development Secretariat
- Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat
- Area Council Services Secretariat
- Transportation Secretariat
- Health and Human Services Secretariat
- Legal Services Secretariat
Law Establishing the FCT
Chapter 8, Part I, Sections 297 to 300 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution As Amended robustly makes provision for the creation of the Federal Capital Territory thus:
299. The provisions of this Constitution shall apply to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja asif it were one of the States of the Federation; and accordingly –
(a) all the legislative powers, the executive powers and the judicial powers vested in the House of Assembly, the Governor of a State and in the courts of a State shall, respectively, vest in the National Assembly, the President of the Federation and in the courts which by virtue of the foregoing provisions are courts established for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;
- The Federal Capital Territory Administration has eight agencies with seven secretariats
- It is headed by a minister appointed by the president
- The Federal Capital Territory was moved from Lagos State to Abuja on December 12, 1991.
- The Federal Military Government of the Murtala-Obasanjo regime promulgated decree No. 6 on February 4, 1976, for the relocation of the FCT from Lagos to Abuja.