Illegal structures worth billions of naira are set to be pulled down by the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) in Abuja any moment from now, Housing News reports.
The FCTA will soon resume massive demolition of illegal structures after a few weeks break.
The exercise is intended to sanitize and regain the city’s original master plan.
The types of the structures that will be affected this time include shanties and estates obstructing power transmission lines and major access road networks.
Housing News reports that the exercise has already commenced in some locations like Area 1 Garki district, Zuba interchange, Jabi motor park, Giri junction, Ungwan Saidu, a rising shanty right in the heart of Kado district and a property at Mabushi district said to belong to a former first lady.
It was gathered that areas that will be affected by the imminent demolition exercise include Peace Village, Tudun Wada and Fruit Market all in Federal Housing Lubge.
Some other shanties within the capital city including those in Kubwa, Gwarimpa, Jahi, Kado districts and even those in highbrow areas like Maitama, Asokoro, Guzape, Katampe and Jabi districts may also be pulled down.
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Some of these communities within the city centre sprung up as a result of the huge influx of people into the FCT seeking for a greener pastures.
Speaking on the matter, the Development Control Director, Malam Muktar Galadima, said that all the shanties built directly under the high tension in Tudun Wada, Peace Village, and on either side of the electricity facility will be brought down.
He added that properties that breach the legally permitted 30 metre-proximity to the high tension particularly at the Lugbe FHA Fruit Market and others would also be removed to pave way for the commencement of work by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
“The distance legally allowed from the high tension is 25 metres, plus 5 metres for contingency, which makes it 30 metres,” he said.
The Development Control boss explained that while his office had severally warned the residents, it has become imperative to quickly carry out this demolition exercise due to a request from the Federal Ministry of Power for the FCTA to clear the area for it to commence construction of a 330/132/33kV substation in Lugbe (West Main).
Galadima added that the substation was one of the major capital projects to be executed in 2018.
“By standard we have to make sure that people do not develop (build structures) within the high tension line and it is not safe for people to live there, you can imagine someone selling gas under the high tension imagine what will happen if there is disaster,” Galadima said.
Our reporter visited Tudun Wada and Peace Village and found that while the affected properties have already been marked for demolition, their owners are yet to evacuate the property.
It was learnt that modalities for payment of compensation had been completed but a cross section of the residents told our reporter they were yet to be paid.
“There is massive injustice in the compensation. For example, the owner of a house worth maybe N2.5m will be given N1m or someone whose house is worth N1m will be given N500,000 but what can we do? We cannot fight them that is why it is compensation,” an affected resident Mr. Abdul Suleiman said.
Also, FCTA officials said another massive demolition exercise planned for this year will affect illegal estates in the city.
For example, an estate named Diamond Acres also situated in Lubge was said to have breached the Abuja master plan as it is sitting right on the proposed Ring Road 4.
The Coordinator Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Umar Shuiabu while speaking to journalists at the project site said that the estate must go.
He said that Diamond Acres Estate was sitting directly on the Ring Road 4, a major road network which could not be diverted because of the illegal project whose owner, he said, has refused to heed many development control notices served on him to stop work.
According to Shuiabu, the developer did not follow due process in obtaining necessary development control permits before embarking on the structures.
When asked why the FCTA failed to stop the said developer before the structures were erected, Shuiabu said, “The structures in that estate have been marked severally to stop work but whenever we mark it for demolition, the developer will wipe it off and continue work and now he has gotten to completion stage.”
Efforts made to reach the developer were not successful.
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