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JUST IN: Abuja Master Plan: FCT Minister warns unscrupulous estate developers

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has vowed to enforce the strict adherence to the Abuja Masterplan, in the building of estates.

Bello made the pledge at the commissioning of an office complex of the Abuja Property Development Company (APDC), held on Friday in Abuja.

He said that all estates ordinarily should have provisions for play areas, community centres, shopping facilities, places for worship and in some areas also, depending on the size, provisions for places for educational activities.

"The reason why flooding is rampant in many areas is simply because the plan that was meant to be followed was not followed.

"And unfortunately, over the years, maybe institutional capacity to be able to enforce was reduced.

" All these are going to change because every person's life is sacrosanct and the whole idea of living in an estate is to live in a community that is safe, serene, beautiful and peaceful, so that people can raise their family and children in an environment that makes them very productive as a people.

"But we cannot just create estates where every square inch is dedicated to building and that's why our enforcement activities will be enhanced.

"I am just saying this to let the public know and like they say, shine your eyes," Bello said.

He frowned at the attitude of some investors and unscrupulous persons who decide to build on the fringes of the city, "to build without permission, to build on occupied land, to build with impunity and to spend enormous amount of resources."

Bello advised anybody who wanted to buy any property in any estate in Abuja to do proper diligence.

"The first place to do it, you come to the FCT, go to the relevant department and confirm that that particular estate is genuine and then confirm that the person himself is genuine.

"You must probably have noticed that over the last few weeks, we have been demolishing and we will continue to demolish.

" I want to use this opportunity to tell genuine investors that nobody's property will be touched if it's on a genuinely allocated land that has the correct papers.

" Nobody's property will be touched if it was built based on Development Control approval,; based on all the requirements by law that a person needs.

" Whoever built and no matter how highly placed and no matter how expensive that building is, it will go down."

Bello said going forward, also persons would be prosecuted for the cost of the diesel and the staff and the police used to embark on the exercise.

According to him, where for any reason, an investor arranges with thugs and they beat our staff, we are going to charge them on criminal procedures.

"We want to develop the city but the city has to be developed in an organised manner, just like it is done in all parts of the world.

" We are working very closely with REDAN, we are working closely with the National Assembly and a number of property have been identified.

" We are also working closely with the ICPC and the EFCC because many of those property are bought based on ill-gotten money and they use them as means of laundering.

" All these will no longer be accepted, " the minister said.

He warned that for every property that was allowed to stand and an official somewhere had not done his or her work.

" We will not allow these officials as well because at the end of the day, it is the off takers that lose out because they spend money," he said.

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