Wreckage of illegal buildings demolished at Utako by the FCT Task Force on City Sanitation, in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY ELUKPO-ATEKO
Hard times await developers and property owners that contravene the Abuja Masterplan as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration, yesterday, moved its demolition of illegal structures’ campaign a notch higher by kick-starting a weekly site inspection and enforcement exercise that would culminate in the demolition of many illegal structures across the FCT.
The latest move becomes necessary as the FCT Department of Development Control expressed worry over the high rate of contraventions of its building codes, stating that many developers took the advantage of the lockdown period to construct structures without approvals or build an above-approved number of units, as well as the arbitrary change of land use.
The demolition exercise commenced with some structures in development sites at Guzape, Asokoro, and Katampe Extension districts, as well as the National Assembly Quarters, Apo, marked for immediate demolition.
The Director, FCTA Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, disclosed this yesterday while conducting newsmen on an inspection of project sites in Guzape, Asokoro, and Katampe extension districts.
Galadima said: “I am attributing this unfortunate scenario to the COVID-19 lockdown because you can see that most of these deviations occurred during the period.’’
According to him, the authorities have concluded plans to deal with each contravention based on its uniqueness.
The director, who was angry over total disregard for quit and stop-work notices by a developer found inside the National Assembly Quarters, Apo, ordered that the property, a major expansion of a residential building without approvals, be demolished within 24 hours.
Galadima further warned FCT residents to desist from building structures in the nation’s capital without first obtaining approvals from relevant authorities, adding that the department would always catch up with all illegal developers.
“This is a continuous exercise. Every Tuesday is dedicated to management sites’ visit and the essence of the visits is to inspect areas that have peculiar challenges and gather ideas on how to resolve them,” he said.
It would be recalled that since the aftermath of a flood disaster in FCT, the authorities have gone on renewed drive to bring down structures obstructing water channels plains. In the last one month, over 400 structures have been demolished.