BREAKING: Wike To Begin Demolition Of Buildings In Gwarinpa Estate

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Nyesom Wike, has announced that action will be taken against property owners in Gwarinpa who have violated the FCT masterplan by converting residential buildings for commercial use. During a ministerial sectoral press briefing on Thursday, Wike stated that those who have distorted the masterplan will lose their properties.....CONTINUE READING THE ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

The minister clarified that while there is no conflict between the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) regarding the federal housing estate in Gwarinpa, his administration has the responsibility to ensure that developments comply with the FCT masterplan.

Wike stated that the FCTA had allocated the land to the FHA, thus all houses in Gwarinpa are under its jurisdiction.

“There is no tussle between the Federal Housing Authority and the FCTA. FCTA gave out the land to FHA, so all the houses are under FHA. However, we have the oversight function of making sure that developments are in tandem with the masterplan of FCT,” Wike explained.

He added that upon assuming office, he established a committee to identify and address deviations from the masterplan, stressing that properties converted from residential to commercial use will be demolished, and owners will forfeit their certificates.

“For example, If you are supposed to build for residential purposes and you convert to a commercial purpose then you have to bring it down or lose the certificate,” said the minister.

Wike acknowledged receiving messages urging leniency, but maintained that effective leadership requires making tough decisions and enforcing rules strictly.

I have received texts that I should take it easy. In Nigeria many people are afraid of taking decisions, some people are afraid of stepping on toes. You can’t be a leader without stepping on toes. If you wait for when everybody will think that they are happy, then you are telling lies. What is important is your conscience, are you doing the right thing or not? We have told the development control and that’s one area we have problems as far as FCT is concerned,” he said.

He affirmed that FCTA’s development control department has been instructed to take firm action to ensure compliance with the masterplan, and reiterated that Gwarimpa will not be exempt from these enforcement efforts.

“We have told the Development Control to hit the hammer hard for people to follow rules. How many months have we been in the office? It’s just nine months and we cannot solve the entire problem at the same time. We have not forgotten Gwarimpa,” he added

Speaking on the issue of harassment of businesses by officials of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) , he said, “we are already constructing roads in Gwarinpa, that’s to tell you we have not forgotten Gwarinpa. Harassment by touts because of revenue collection and some others, we have sat down with AMAC and said look, the only way to allow decency is to sit with them, form a committee, have an account where those revenue go to and you collect your own share. That way we will reduce touting, we will reduce harassment and double taxation and they have agreed. After all, the law allows you 10% of our IGR, so why are you afraid?

In a city, everybody wants to survive, if I don’t come to the city I will not survive, so you find some of these elements from time to time but bear in mind that it is part of our responsibility to rid them off. But it cannot just be immediately. There are so many things in our hands, for example, street lights. Today you put a street light, tomorrow night it’s no longer there. What happens? they have been vandalised. They cut off the cables, and you arrest and prosecute them…what does the law say? On conviction, N10,000, so they continue.

“We have told the NASS that they have to come to our aid by amending and reviewing the law to make it very tough. So if you are caught there will be no option of fine, and even if there is an option of fine the money will be too high to be hard for anyone to repeat that. You can imagine where you go and cut cables that are very expensive and most of the contractors who supply these cables, they sell it back to them. Criminals are everywhere, but we are taking care of all of them.”

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