By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has pulled down a filling station which was under construction at the National Assembly Complex.
Director, Department of Development Control in the FCT, Tpl Muktar Galadima, who disclosed this on Monday shortly after the exercise said the developer was initially allocated the land for construction of the filling station for commercial purpose, but that he decided to unilaterally commence building of a residential property adjacent the land earmarked for the station.
He further explained that, following series of complaints from the Office of the National Security Adviser on security implications of siting a filling station inside such a complex, the allocation was reviewed and revoked.
The director stressed that while compensation has been paid for the property on the filling station site and land, no compensation would be paid for the adjoining residential structure.
Galadima said: “This property you are seeing is a petrol filling station. The place was allocated to a corporate entity for the provision of a filling station within the National Assembly.
“Unfortunately, it was later on observed and reviewed as a mistake for obvious security reasons for such a facility to be situated within the Three Arms Zone.
“So after doing the necessary diligence, the Administration thought it fit to remove the structure and give way to the Office of the National Security Adviser to takeover the land.”
Responding to a question on why it took his department such a long time to demolish the illegal structure marked for demolition since 2015, the director explained he had to follow a lengthy procedure.
“When the Administration 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 is why it took us this long to remove this structure”, he said.
Speaking on many other illegal structures across the FCT, Galadima said that control of developments in the city was ongoing, “We are humans and we are not perfect. Some times we make mistakes, but this type of obvious one is something that should not have been done in the first place.
“There is a lot of rat race among those in the oil and gas industry. Every available place, the marketers want to develop to market their products. As a result of that there is this made rush to develop filling stations across the FCT, but we will not allow that.
“There is a specific location for each land use as regards the Abuja Master Plan. So because you feel that you have money and can just rush and build filling stations at any place is not allowed. That’s why we are doing everything possible to correct such mistakes.
“We have removed two filling stations this January. And those making proposals to build filling stations, if it is not in line with our land use provisions, we will not approve it; if they go against our provisions, we will remove it”, he vowed.