11 February 2013

Nigeria: Senate Begins Investigation Into FCTA's Demolition of Housing Estates

THE Senate last week, said arrangements have been concluded for an investigation into the demolition of mass housing estates in the Federal Capital Territory. The upper legislature vowed that those found wanting at the end of the exercise, will face the full wrath of the law.

The Senate stated that persons found guilty of either selling plots of land or collecting money from subscribers, will be punished.

Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Smart Adeyemi said the investigation exercise which will commence this week, is aimed at providing solution to the nagging problem of demolition of houses in the FCT. Adeyemi stated these at a parley with top officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA and developers of the housing estates affected by the demolition exercise.

He urged all developers whose estates were marked for demolition to avail the committee of all the particulars relating to purchase and allocation of their plots. "By next week Monday, we as a committee will go with the FCT officials round these estates affected, see those still building, the stages of work done and see how we can talk to the Minister of FCT to restrain from acting on what they intend to do".

Senator Adeyemi who noted that he was not in any way pre-empting the report of the Committee, stressed that most papers being held by the developers may not be genuine, just as he said they may be victims of land speculators and racketeering in the FCT.

He said, "As I am talking here, I know that people are still buying plots and building in most of those areas having this problem. We are not saying that you cannot build while the point here is that while some are building based on merit, others are not building on merit. Some of your papers may not be genuine ones, you may be victims of forgery and land racketeering in the FCT, and it is common. But we will do all that we can to tackle this issue of forgery and manipulations."

While noting that some particulars may be fake, Senator Adeyemi however regretted that most developers were not building according to specification, adding, "We will do all we can to make sure that all those who perpetrated all these forgery and manipulations including some of your members are brought to book because when you said somebody gave out money as a bribe, both the giver and receiver are guilty."

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