BY Victoria Ogunrinde
The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA Monday demolished an illegal private residential building and a filling station under construction inside the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
Director, FCTA Department of Development Control, Alhaji Muktar Galadima, who led the exercise on Monday, briefed newsmen that the reason for the demolition was due to security reasons.
He added that the land was initially allocated to the developer to construct a commercial filling station.
According to Galadima, the developer decided to unilaterally commence the building of a residential property adjacent to the land earmarked for the station without necessary approval.
He said, “Following a series of complaints from the Office of the National Security Adviser on the security implications of citing a filling station inside such a complex, the allocation was reviewed and revoked.
“Compensation had already been paid for the revoked land and property built but no compensation will be paid for the adjourning residential structure.
“The place was allocated to a corporate entity for the provision of a filling station within the National Assembly.
“Unfortunately, it was later 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 FCT Administration thought it fit to remove the structure and give way to the office of the National Security Adviser to take over the land.
“The department followed a long procedure before demolishing the illegal structure marked since 2015.
“When the FCT Administration received correspondence regarding the obvious security implications of the facility, we had to follow due process because approval was granted for the development of the land.
“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.
“We are humans and we are not perfect. Sometimes we make mistakes, but this type of obvious one is something that should not have been done in the first place.
“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,” he added.