Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than 750 illegal structures, mainly shanties would be demolished in Lugbe District of Abuja, for safety of the residents and to pave way for proper development there this year, according to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
In particular, all the shanties built directly under the High Tension in Tudunwada, Peace Village, and on either sides of the electricity facility, including those that breach the legally permitted 30 metre-proximity to High Tension and Lughe FHA farm market and others would soon be removed to pave way for Transmission Company of Nigeria to commence work.
The Administration explained that the affected areas were not legal layouts, and all the shanties lacked appropriate government building approvals or allocations.
Our correspondent reports that Director, Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Usman Galadima made this disclosure during tour of the affected areas in Lugbe.
According to Galadima, “The distance legally allowed away from the High Tension is 25metres, plus 5metres for contingency, which makes it 30 metres.”
The Development Control boss further explained that while his office had already severally warned the residents, it has become imperative to quickly carry out the demolition exercise due to a request from the Federal Ministry of Power for the FCTA to clear the area for it to commence construction of a 330/132/33kV substation in Lugbe (West Main).
Galadima added that the substation was one of the major projects slated for the FCT as listed by the Federal Government as part of capital projects to be executed in 2018.
Similarly, Diamond Acres, a major private estate under construction in Lugbe was served with final marking for immediate demolition.
On his part, the Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuiabu while speaking to journalists at the site affirmed that the estate must go, berating its owner for being stubborn and disregarding established development guidelines.
He stressed that Diamond Acres estate was sitting directly on Ring Road 4, a major road network which could not be diverted because of an illegal project perpetrated by an individual.
Shuiabu disclosed that the owner of the project has refused to comply after many development control notices earlier served on him to stop work.
According to him, the developer did not recourse to due process in obtaining necessary development control permits before embarking on building of his structures.
He therefore advised residents to always follow prescribed rules regarding development of structures in the nation’s capital, and strongly warned that illegal developments in the FCT by anyone would never be tolerated.