Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished a petrol station under construction inside the National Assembly complex.
The Director of FCTA Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, stated yesterday that the structure was demolished because the developer allocated the land for construction of the filling station for commercial purpose and decided to unilaterally commence the building of a residential property adjacent to the land earmarked for the filling station.
He said the allocation was reviewed and revoked after series of complaints from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) about the security implications of allowing a filling station to be sited inside such complex.
Galadima stressed that while compensation has been paid for the property on the filling station site and land, no compensation would be paid for the adjourning residential structure that was bulldozed earlier yesterday.
He said: “This property you see here is a petrol station. The place was allocated to a corporate entity for the provision of a filling station within the National Assembly.
“Unfortunately, it was later observed and reviewed as a mistake for obvious security reasons for such a facility to be situated within the Three Arms Zone. After necessary diligence, the FCT Administration deemed it fit to remove the structure and give way for the office of the NSA to take over the land.”
Responding to the inquest why his department delayed the demolition of an illegal structure marked for demolition since 2015, Galadima explained that he had to follow a lengthy procedure.
“When the FCTAdministration received correspondence regarding the obvious security implications of the facility, we had to follow due process because approval was granted for this development, so we had to assess and value the property as well as pay compensation to the affected party. That was why it took us this long to remove this structure,” he said.
Galadima decried the mad rush by oil tycoons to build filling stations on any available space they could find, saying many illegal structures across the FCT violate the master plan of the city and should not have been sited.