The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is littered with several uncompleted buildings. Some of these buildings are located in highbrow areas, for example: Gwarimpa, Wuse, Garki, Maitama, Asokoro, and other parts of Abuja. They have become hideouts for criminals and homeless persons, causing high risk to security within the territory.
The FCT authority had tried to address the situation, by proposing a special fund to acquire the buildings from their owners and resell them to workers under its mass housing scheme.
The former director, FCT Development Control Department, Mallam Muktar Galadima, explained that the FCT administration planned to send a memo to the Federal Executive Council on the acquisition of the abandoned buildings across the FCT, adding that the federal government may create a special purpose fund through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to acquire the buildings.
However, lacking is the political will to actualise it as nothing has changed with more abandoned structures springing up in the FCT.
A civil servant and social analyst, Mr Simon Baba-Yerimah blamed the continued increase of abandoned structures in the FCT on greed of some politicians and wealthy Nigerians who want to have gigantic structures in the heart of the city, without proper plans on how to complete them when they leave office. And as such, abandon the buildings which then provide cover for criminal activities.
A director at the FCT Development Control Agency, who preferred anonymity discloses that they are aware of the increase in numbers of uncompleted structures in the FCT, but admitted that the development has overwhelmed the strength of the Agency because of the owners of the property involved.
“We are very much aware of the situation and we have been doing media campaigns, advising people to complete their structures. But I believe it is just the situation, probably because of the economy. To the extent that the Minister of the FCT even gave an ultimatum for people to complete their structures or risk demolition, but still, nothing has changed,” he said.
He further notes that apart from criminals hiding in such houses, the structures overtime become weak and can collapse without warning, adding that this year, close to 600 uncompleted structures within the city, occupied by miscreants and even armed robbers pose security risks.
“Some of these houses are owned by people that are already dead, and they have litigation on the property among themselves. So, you cannot force them to complete the house when they are still in court,” he disclosed, adding that the Minister has written to some property owners, given them time to complete their projects or their plots might be revoked. However, for the government to take over abandoned structures, it will still require litigation.