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FCTA’s Demolition Hammer set to hit 140 Illegal Structures in Abuja …Authorities give reasons for action

-By Danlami Nasir Isah

A total of 140 illegal structures is set to suffer the wrath of the Federal Capital Territory Administration in a bid to advance proper building plans arrangement in Abuja.

The Federal Capital Territory which consists of five area councils has been in the news for the bad reasons especially in the area of illegal structures erected to villages as well as abandoned buildings.

It has been estimated that there are over 1,000 illegal and abandoned buildings in the federal capital territory, a situation which many stakeholders have described as disturbing considering the housing deficit in the FCT.

With an estimated population of about 6 million people currently, the federal capital territory has in the last few years experienced an influx of people who troop in to earn a living.

The situation has been seen as the major reason for creation of villages, shanties and other illegal structures by these migrants.

To this end, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded plans to demolish no fewer than 140 illegal structures built on service corridors in Kuruduma II and Kpaduma II communities in Guzape District of Abuja.

Thompson Hope, Chief Town Planning Officer, FCT Department of Development Control, disclosed this while briefing newsmen shortly after inspecting the illegal structures in Abuja.

Hope said that the department had earlier issued seven days ultimatum to the inhabitants of the affected illegal structures in the area, adding that as soon as the ultimatum expired on Monday Nov. 25, demolition would begin immediately. He said that the development control had marked some of the illegal structures for demolition as far back as two, three years ago.

He also said that the department had carried out several sensitization campaigns to the indigenous communities for many years but they refused to abide by the FCTA regulations on land allocation.

According to him, the indigenous communities and villages have expanded beyond the indigenous settlement and most of this expansion and illegal structures, the areas are been sold by the indigenous communities themselves.

He said that the department held several meetings with the leaders of the indigenous communities on the need for them to stop selling plots of land to the people.

“We have severally warned the indigeous communities including the local chiefs that all the lands in FCT is vested on the FCT Minister and that they should desist from selling land. “But because some people are so desperate and desirous to build thinking that before government takes action they will either make one or two profits out of it.

“These illegal structures are already built on service corridors where plot allottees are desirous to develop their properties but because of this illegal development along the corridor they cannot take possession of their plots.

“Recently, the FCTA sent signals to plot allottees to take possession of their plots else they stand a chance of been revoked and that has put us under enormous pressure as a department. ” By our estimate, we have about 140 illegal structures on this corridors. We have given them 7 days ultimatum and hopefully by the expiration of the ultimatum, we are coming to demolish all the illegal structures.

“The notice was given to them on Monday Oct. 18 and it expired by Monday Nov. 2.

“Hopefully, we will come with our machines to demolish them,” he said.

On the issue of compensation to the owners of the illegal structures, Hope said compensation was a policy issue that can only be handled by the Minister,”