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FG to demolish 6k buildings in Abuja

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By Abraham Adekunle

FCT minister says illegal structures distorting master plan to be pulled down.

As part of measures to restore the nation’s capital master plan, the Federal Government may demolish no fewer than 30 illegal settlements and slums and over 6,000 illegal buildings in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The newly Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, gave the hint upon resuming office on Monday in Abuja. He said that all illegal buildings distorting the Abuja master plan would be pulled down. In his words, Wike vowed to flatten all illegal buildings even if they belonged to a minister or an ambassador.

Media investigations have revealed that the slums that might be affected by the urban renewal programme would include Apo Mechanic Village, Byanzhin, Dawaki, Dei Dei, Durumi, Dutse, Garki, Garki Village, Gishiri, Gwagwalape, Idu, Jabi, Kado Village, Karmo, Karshi, Karu, Katampe, Ketti Village, Kpaduma, Kabusa, Kpana Village, Kubwa, Lokogoma, Lugbe, Mabushi, Mpape, Nyanya and Piya Kasa. Also, those who acquired lands from Abuja indigenes may lose their investments as they were regarded by the FCT Administration as illegal.

6,000 abandoned structures in the FCT may be affected.

Checks have indicated that about 6,000 structures may be affected by the restoration plans. These included buildings that have been abandoned for a long time in violation of the building code. A 2022 report by the FCT Administration indicated that at least 6,000 abandoned homes may be affected by the threat of Demolition or revocation of land titles. However, this figure may increase as it does not include the number of illegal homes or slums in the FCT, according to FCTA officials.

Speaking in an interview on Monday, August 21, 2023, the director of the FCTA Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, stated that a new survey might have to be conducted to evaluate the current realities. He said that officials would have to go back to the field to ascertain that figure because some of the structures have been completed since the administration published the report. He said that a new survey has to be conducted, but the current figure was as of February 2022.

Ex-Rivers governor promised to punish law violators.

Unveiling his vision to news correspondents and FCT Administration officials after taking the oath of office alongside 44 other ministers at the banquet hall of the President Villa, Abuja, the FCT minister also said he would revoke lands that had remained undeveloped for a long period of time. The ex-Rivers State governor warned that houses that distorted the Abuja Master Plan, including those built on green areas, will also be demolished, vowing to ‘’step on toes.’’

When journalists asked him if his demolition plan was not a form of vendetta against his perceived enemies, Wike simply promised a hard time for those who violated the law irrespective of their status or position in society. He further warned that lands that had not been developed for years, or for which ground rents had not been paid, would be revoked and reallocated to those who would complete the building within a short period of time.

Wike vows to crack down hard on defaulters especially on ground rents.

The minister also specifically mentions those whom the government has given C of O (Certificate of Occupancy) or allocated lands, and who refuse to develop them, saying that the certificate will be revoked. He took time to explain why he would not spare ground rent defaulters, stating that he would not issue a demand notice before revoking their plots. He also used the opportunity to address speculations that he might be sanctioned by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, for accepting the ministerial nomination. He said that President Bola Tinubu had asked all the state governors to nominate 10 persons each.


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