FG to demolish houses built on waterways in Abuja

 

The federal government has said it would demolish houses built on waterways that violated the master plan in its housing estates.

Minister of state, power, works & housing II, Surv Suleiman Zarma disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during the inspection tour of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) estate in Lugbe, Abuja, in company of the managing director of FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-amin. FHA Lugbe, which is the second oldest estate in Abuja apart from the one in Karu area of Abuja, is taunted by poor road network, poor waste management and illegal encroachment, which raised questions on the need for residents to embrace maintenance culture.

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The minister noted that federal government would pay compensation to owners of legal houses that would be affected during the renewal of FHA Lugbe adding that illegal structures built on waterways would be demolished without compensation. Zarma linked the current state of the estate as flagrant abuse of planning regulations by the residents and government staffs as well as the failure of the past administration to upgrade the existing infrastructures. The minister stated that the existing infrastructure are overstretched given the increased number of families that were not captured in the master plan, noting that he would liaise with FHA to review the plan and enforce areas earmarked for hospitals, schools and among others.

Also speaking, the managing director of FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-amin hinted that federal government has spent about N100 billion in building new houses from 2016 till date, stressing that FHA is currently utilising N10 bn in building houses in Zuba and Kwali. Al-amin emphasised that FHA together with Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) stopped getting funding for more than 13 years until last year, saying that the N150bn seed fund agreed by federal government to be released to agency has not been released till date.

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He pointed out that federal government has earmarked some money for urban renewal which would cut across FHA estates and local neighbourhood. In carrying out the renewal, Al-amin asserted that federal government would mobilise resources from other sources, stating that discussions are in progress with UN habitat for special intervention fund on urban renewal likewise from Shelter Afrique on slum upgrade. The MD expressed dissatisfaction over the illegal encroachment in FHA even as he lamented that the 20 metres space supposed to be left as floodable area is less than 5 metres.

He stated that FHA is in close collaboration with the FCT administration to enforce compliance of the Lugbe master plan irrespective of the social status of the violators adding that this is the first time any government would be building and maintaining existing infrastructure. On his part, the chairman, Lugbe residents association, Mr Adesina Odelana sought the intervention of federal government in building alternative roads in the estate, supposed to be housing almost one million people. While noting that the existing facilities at the estate are overstretched, he requested for the construction of police outpost, hospitals, schools and water. He said though the estate have been upgraded as Federal Capital City (FCC) that the residents are yet to reap the dividends of the upgrade.

Chika Okeke

300 buildings marked for demolition in Benue

At least 300 buildings have been marked for demolition for contravening land laws in Benue state.

Abraham Gbileeka, the General Manager of Benue Urban Development Board, says most of the buildings were built on water channels.

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“It’s true that people are building on water channels and it is our responsibility as a board to stop them; the only action we have to sustain the right thing.

“Once we discover that you have not received a legitimate approval from the board and you have gone ahead to build, we serve you a notice which will lead to demolition.

The general manager also said that the structures marked for demolition were not only built on water canals, but lack government approval.

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Gbilekaa said that areas that would be affected “are Nyiman extension, Achussa, Genabe, Owner Occupier, Wadata and High-level, Naka Road and some communities in North Bank.’’

He, however, explained that marking a house does not necessarily lead to demolition as houses were marked sometimes because they have no records with the board.

Gbilekaa warned the residents of the state against raising illegal structures that such buildings stand the risk of being demolished.

 

Lagos Demolishes 2-Storey Building, As Thugs Attack Officials, Vandalise Vehicles

Kazeem Ugbodaga

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, on Thursday demolished a two-storey building under construction in Mushin area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

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Irked by the demolition, thugs in the area attacked government officials, who were escorted to the area by police officers, and vandalised six vehicles.

The attackers broke several windscreens, side mirrors and other vehicles parts with stones and even blocked the road with a Toyota Camry daring the government officials to leave the area.

During the attack, a cameraman with the Lagos State television received a deep cut in his hand with blood gushing out.

The police were able to salvage the situation without shooting or using teargas.

The government officials demolished the building located at No. 77 Ogunmokun Street, Mushin with a bulldozer as the owner had no building permit.

The owner of the building was said to have been served stop work notice since January, but continued illegal development of the property.

Also, 11 other buildings were sealed by LASBCA in Mushin. The affected structures had no building permit and other documents.

General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde had said it was no longer going to be business as usual as government was determined to get rid of illegal development across the state and stem the tide of collapsed buildings.

“Before now, we have been civil in our enforcement, but the developers have remained recalcitrant by continuing in their illegal development. Most of these developers don’t have submission talk less of having permits,” he said.

Shodeinde added that whenever a building had been shutdown, the agency’s officials toke the building so that their owners would come forward to regularize their papers, as well as pay the necessary fines.

According to him, LASBCA should not be running after illegal developers if they did the right thing by obtaining their building permits and submitting other documents for approval.

“Most of these illegal developments were done at night with substandard materials being used. They don’t get the needed permit or follow due process before erecting them,” he said.

READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA

Shodeinde called on Lagosians to report any illegal development in their domains to LASBCA for prompt action in order to avert building collapse.

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