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FCTA demolishes illegal structures in aviation village

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[FILES] Wreckage of illegal buildings demolished in the FCT Task Force. PHOTO: LUCY ELUKPO-ATEKO

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Sunday demolished more than 137 illegal hostels, hotels and other buildings at Iddo Sarki community in Aviation Village, adjacent the main campus of the University of Abuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the demolition was led by a combined team of FCT Ministerial Taskforce on City Sanitation, Department of Development Control, Department of Security Services and other relevant agencies.

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Mr Ikharo Attah, Chairman of the taskforce, said the operation was in line with the FCT ministerial directive to remove every contraventions and illegal buildings within the nation’s capital.

Attah said that FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, was angered by flagrant disregard for the Abuja Master Plan and several warnings to people to avoid buying land from unauthorised persons.

He said no local chiefs has the authority to sell lands or transfer any valid title to buyers of such land, in line with the provisions of the Land Use Act.

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The chairman noted that the exercise was a quick intervention to avert further distortion of the city’s development plans, as well as rescue desperate business men and women from economic waste.

Attah said that it was unfortunate that certain people had continued to ignore timely warnings not to venture into land transaction without relevant government approval.

He added that the shortcut process undertaken by the investors had not only infringed heavily on extant laws, but distorted Abuja Master plan, while leading into colossal economic waste.

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“FCTA is pained about what is going on here.

” FCT minister had briefed the Directors of Development Control, Security Services and Directorate of Road Traffic Services and gave them matching order to stop what he termed “extreme illegality”.

” These people are taking advantage of the closeness of the University of Abuja to this place to sell every available land here.

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” You can imagine that someone here had built a house that runs into hundreds of millions of naira without a proper approval, but based on ordinary agreement signed with unauthorised persons.

” The minister has ordered that this place be cleared as a signal to people.

“Those who wants to build hostels for students can approach the administration and the university management and do it on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) or Build, Operate and Own (BOO) arrangements with a proper allocation and development approval from government,” Attah said.

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Also speaking, Acting Director, FCT Department of Department Control, Garba Kwamkur, disclosed that the land in which the illegal development was going on had been allocated to the Nigerian Navy.

Kwamkur further added that while the developers had no valid title to the land, the buildings erected on it also had no approval.

” All this area had been allocated for long.

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” Part of this land had been allocated to the Nigerian Navy, they have complained about encroachment.

” We came here several times and sensitised them to stop this illegal development because FCT Administration is not very happy with what is going on here.

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” We have marked the illegal buildings several times, but the marks were cleaned off.

“We have met with the community and youth leaders on the need to get permit before any expansion, but they refused to do that”, Kwamkur said.

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