FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed
By Senator Iroegbu and Christabel Adah
The ongoing furore generated by the recent demolition of several houses in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may escalate with the FCT Administration (FCTA) insisting that all the housing estates along the airport road in Abuja are illegal.
This position echoed Thursday in Abuja by the Acting Director, Department of Development Control, Mr. Hamza Madaki, when he said that there was no provision within the Abuja Master Plan for any estate along the Umar Musa Yar’Adua Airport Road.
Madaki stated this at an interactive session organised by the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in conjunction with the Department of Development Control, saying that: “Federal Government did not envisage any estate along the airport road.”
He said this facts needed to be emphasised following the controversy trailing recent demolitions of Minenuel estate, along Lugbe, airport road and six other estates within the same axis of the federal capital city.
The Acting Director also clarified that Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) lacked the authority to grant building approvals or city layouts, which are the exclusive reserve of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
He said: “The truth must be said, what happened is that government did not envisage any estate on the airport road, if there would be any layout, there is no one that would be done outside the department of urban and regional planning, there is no way AMAC would have it’s own layout outside what had earlier been laid out.”
“The Surveying and Mapping Department of FCDA is still the one that is doing the surveying, any surveying you see in AMAC or in Gwagwalada Area Council; in fact any area council is a task of the surveying and mapping department of the FCDA. They don’t employ staff so whatever AMAC would do would be the same thing with what FCDA does.
Hamza however sympathised with those whose estates were demolished and advised that people should try to follow the right procedures concerning land acquisition by verifying officially to know the genuineness of their documents.
“We cannot stay in a lawless society; the more citizens become law abiding, the less problems we have,” he said.
“Development control is going through hell, if you tell people not to build in a particular place, they would go ahead and build and when you mark it, they clean it and continue building,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President of REDAN, Mr. Olabode Afolayan, has assured the public and those affected by the demolitions that they would come up with a lasting solution to the problem.
While addressing the problem of issuance of fake land documents, Afolayan said they had agreed to come up with a committee that would oversee the issue of land acquisition and by the end of the day, they would be able to fish out those responsible for such acts.