By Williams Anuku, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has reacted to a viral video making the rounds that bulldozer attempted to bring down a shopping mall located at Plot 413, Lobito Crescent, Wuse 11 Abuja, while people were inside the building.
Reacting to the information, Muktar Galadima, Director, Department of Development Control, told Elendu Reports that the administration was only trying to correct distortions done to the building while the coronavirus pandemic lockdown lasted.
Galadima made reference to the viral video, insisting that a notice of demolition had earlier been issued to the developer to revert to the original masterplan.
He confirmed that approval was given for a ‘mixed-use development’ for the particular Plot 413 on Lobito Crescent, Wuse 11 in December 2018, adding that the plan provided for a three-floor structure: the ground floor was expected to serve as car pack, first floor while the second floor was for residency purposes.
He, however, lamented that the developer in question defaulted by converting the car park to shops.
“This infraction is what we want to be corrected,” Galadima explained.
While reacting to insinuations that the demolition exercise was targeted at some of the sponsors of the #EndSARS Protest, Galadima said so many infractions, were committed by developers when residents were on COVID-19 lockdown.
“Some developers took advantage of the COVID-19 situation to cause infractions on the master plan by altering building plans as well as putting up illegal buildings.
“Regarding that particular video, nothing could be further from the truth. There were several engagements where they told those who were involved in the infractions; to revert to the original use and use Adetokumbo Ademola street as entrance and to replant the ornamental trees felled during construction but refused to obey the use of group floor as a car park.
“The developer complied by putting up a wall on the major street and reverted to Adetokumbo Ademola, “he stated.
Who does this….?!!! pic.twitter.com/hduZimGEVG
— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) November 16, 2020
Responding further; “As a responsible government, we will not fold our arms and allow the distortion of the master plan. The city has a plan that must be respected.”
Galadima said apart from several engagements and notices, they were served the last notice last month, hoping that they would comply in reverting the ground floor to the car park.
“Due to Covid-19 lockdown, we suspended enforcement, but we have resumed. All infractions must be corrected and we are ready to do it. “Critical challenge does have to wait, we can’t wait till disaster happens.”
He, however, warned that all those intending to illegally alter the master plan should have a rethink.
He said all the infractions have been noted and they would be corrected. Of particular note, he said is on Kaltungo Street where a residential building is being converted to a hotel. Mentioning the drama that ensued in the process of enforcement, he said they were denied access until they forcefully entered.