It has become imperative to appreciate the important role being played by the current leadership of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Development Control in ensuring that the physical development of the federal capital territory conforms to both the Abuja Master Plan and the FCT Regional Plan in line with the dreams of the founding fathers of the federal capital city.
Before 2002, Development Control was a division under the Department of Planning and Survey, the organization under this incumbent transparent management has been battling the nefarious activities of land speculators and other unscrupulous elements in the Federal Capital Territory that are converting flood plains, green areas, contravening plot approvals by illegally turning residential plots to commercial purposes. These harmful activities have negative effect on the environment, safety and convenience of the people and residents of the federal capital city. Before assumption of office as the director FCTA Development Control, the organization was synonymous with impunity as the demolition of properties was the order of the day.
The sagacious and transparent leadership of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council has provided the compass, synergy and supervision that have changed the narrative of physical development of the Federal Capital Territory in line with both the Abuja Master Plan and FCT Regional Plan.
They have heralded a new era of physical development in the FCT built on due process and the rule of law. The silent revolution going on in Abuja Metropolitan Management Council is in consonance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s strong patriotic commitment to stem corruption thereby boosting economic development in Nigeria.
The job of monitoring physical development of the FCT is not an easy one; therefore it requires the cooperation of all and sundry to enable the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council to redeem the image of Abuja, as the most planned city in sub-Saharan Africa.
At this juncture, it would be pertinent to state that FCTA Development Control serves three notices before embarking on demolition of the properties of plot allottees. This relevant government department serves top work notice, quit notice and demolition notice before demolition. Demolition is the last option if plots allottees contravene approvals. Some developers in the FCT convert plots meant for residential purposes to commercial use thereby defying the relevant statutes on physical development.
It is also the responsibility of this most important government agency to contain the springing up of slums in the FCT.
Most developers are impatient; they do not wait for approvals before moving to site thereby incurring the wrath of the FCTA Development Control. The current management of Development Control is very proactive, attends to requests for approvals promptly and requires the cooperation of all and sundry to make Abuja the capital city of our dreams, it is however constrained by logistics challenges. It is gratifying to note that the organisation recently took delivery of some refurbished trucks. We must give kudos to the FCT Minister for this gesture. We however appeal to the authorities to increase budgetary allocation to relevant government agencies and department because of their prime importance in enhancing the orderly physical development of the FCT.
–Okoronkwo, a national coordinator, writes from Abuja