Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disclosed that it will review and reassess the status of all uncompleted abandoned buildings in the FCT to determine their suitability for either completion or removal. Also as part of a new parks policy, the Administration will also reclaim land in the FCT that were originally earmarked for green areas, parks and garden, as well as open spaces, but have been distorted illegally.

These were disclosed by the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Umar Gambo Jubrin during a press briefing on recent FCT Executive Committee (Exco) resolutions. The Executive Secretary decried the huge number of uncompleted abandoned buildings which, he said, currently number over 215. These buildings, he added, pose a great security risk as they can become hideouts for criminals. He said there were also over 879 vacant plots that have remained undeveloped over time.

Engr Jubrin also revealed that the review of the abandoned uncompleted buildings and undeveloped plots will be carried out by the Department of Development Control as well as the Urban and Regional Planning Department, in line with the provisions of the Abuja Master Plan and other regulations guiding infrastructure development requirement for the city.

He stated that the new initiative was informed by a review of policy issues and programmes of development in FCT by the Exco. According to him, there are over 215 abandoned buildings, 95 uncompleted, 879 vacant plots, six without approval and 739 plots duly allocated. He said 15 plots have been revoked, 10 withdrawn, with 114 having no records, which the FCT Exco viewed as security threat.

“With the increasing rate of insecurity across the country, we have resolved that all structures in FCT especially those that are not in line with the Master Plan, should go. Most of the areas that will be affected include Asokoro, Maitama, Gwarinpa and Wuse,” he stated. Allaying fears that the exercise was targeted at any individual, he said to the contrary, it sought ”to restore green areas as captured in the Master Plan.” The Executive Secretary said all agencies involved have been directed to take measures that would assist in the demolition exercise.

The Department of Parks and Recreation, he said, will drive the implementation of a new parks policy in conjunction with relevant departments and agencies, including Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS), Department of Land Administration, Department of Development Control, Engineering and others. While speaking on the new parks policy, the Director, AGIS, Dr Isah Jalo, said FCTA is worried that parks have been converted to beer palours and events centres with some of them becoming hideouts for criminals.

He said the parks were supposed to serve as breathing lands for the city, adding that gardens, open spaces and green areas are very important components of the Abuja Master Plan and, therefore, must be restored to their original concept, which is primarily for greening and recreational services. He also disclosed that, henceforth, 82 per cent minimum of land in parks would be dedicated for soft landscaping as against the hard landscaping that is common within parks, while the remaining 18 per cent be reserved for the structure development, with a template that is already approved in the park policy for each designated park.

“In addition, there will be no temporary structures allowed in parks anymore,” he said, urging all parks to comply strictly with the new park policy. Speaking on the context of the new policy as approved by the FCT Exco, Dr Jalo said that the concept of greening of Abuja will include establishment of green belts, green ways, green infrastructure, green regeneration, green car parks as well as green buildings, taking into consideration safety of lives and property as well as reduction in the effect of climate change on the environment.

While speaking on efforts to tackle the effects of climate change in the FCT, Engr Jubrin said the FCTA is fully committed to the city greening projects as efforts are on course to restore the green belts in Asokoro and Airport Road in line with the provision of the Abuja Master Plan.

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