BY MIKE EFFIONG
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has insisted that 31 illegally built estates in Abuja would be demolished.
This was disclosed to the Senate Committee on the FCT during the 2013 budget defense. He stated that the ministry had the backing of the nation’s laws to demolish illegal estates.
He said this was aimed at putting a stop to the impunity of developers in the capital territory. So far, the FCT authority had demolished over 500 housing units since September amidst loud protest by those affected.
“We cannot allow a situation or exercise of impunity or lawlessness; we are not going to condone this for any reason. You are putting a lot of sentiments as a politician, I am a civil servant; I am working according to the law. These people have been told not to do it. Nigerians are gullible.
“Coming back to the 31 estates unfortunately, when the FCT development programme was put in place, there was no guideline to have a timeline for delivery-for infrastructure and prototype ,for people to know that this is what we are going to get within certain period”.
He pointed out that the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has a law and Abuja master plan is not to be compromised.
“I have a law on demolishing. The law I said I don’t have is the one the Chairman asked on the issue of parking. But for demolition I have a law and I don’t even have to interfere with development control law under the land use Act.”
On affordable housing, “we are coming with American investors as well as our own Abuja Property Development Company. We are going to build 1,000 hectares, so that we will bring housing for Nigerians who cannot afford them in high brow area. We want to build structural and affordable houses. Those whose building will be demolished we will make sure that there are alternatives for them”. He added that there is no law on illegal parking in the FCT, emphasizing that the decision was not administratively.