Proliferation of illegal structures fallout of Abuja population explosion- FCTA

NNPC report

By Muhammad Abdullahi, Abuja

Proliferation of illegal residential and commercial structures in all nooks and crannies of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has been identified as one of the noticeable fallouts of the sudden upsurge in population within the Territory.

The FCT Administration’s Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, who made this assertion Monday in Abuja, explained that the population explosion makes it almost irresistible tendency to start erecting structures in FCT without recourse to the development plan of the Territory.

Adesola, who was represented by Director, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Udo Samuel Atang, in his keynote address at the official flag-off of Knowledge Café workshop for 150 District Monitors across the FCTA, noted that people if not strictly monitored, and made to conform with the established law, would greatly compromise the city development.

His words:
” Abuja as one of the fastest growing cities in the world, has been projected to witness a surging population of 6,071,282 by the year 2050.This huge population upsurge which has been attributed to myriad of reasons, such as the position of Abuja as the Nation’s Capital City and the Centre of Unity, which naturally welcomes all groups, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.

“Also, the perception that Abuja offers better opportunities in terms of employments,education,security,social amenities, life partners, among others. I believe that every one of us seated here today has one or two family members or friends that migrated from one rural location across the country to the FCT.

“In view of the foregoing, it has become imperative for the FCT Administration to nip in the bud indiscriminate erection of illegal structures and shanties within the Territory by constituting District Monitors, whose role is fundamentally to monitor structural development within the FCT, with a view to ensuring that the Abuja Plan is not compromised in any form.

“It is also pertinent to warn that, if the Territory must attain and maintain the global standard, in terms of aesthetic, functionality, as well as being the tourist hub of the sub-Saharan African region, unwavering effort and commitment must be put in place for proper coordination and implementation of a standardized development strategy for the FCT” .

He explained that the workshop aimed at exposing and equipping the District Monitors with the required information and knowledge-base that will guide their day to day operations, in order to ensure strict compliance to existing guidelines governing development in the FCT.

Furthermore, the Permanent Secretary enjoined the District Monitors to take advantage of this Knowledge Café workshop to sharpen their skills in service delivery to the teeming population of the FCT.

He however, reiterated that the Administration will not condone any act of compromise and irresponsibility; and as such will deal decisively with any officer that may be found wanting in this regards.

Similarly, Acting Director Development Control Department, Garba Kwamkur, noted that most decisions that the department takes usually conflicts with the personal interests of highly placed and powerful persons in the society.

He added that the Department has done well, despite the myriad of huddles (challenges) district officers go through daily to discharge their duties of development control in the FCT

He described the workshop as a very apt platform to deliberate on issues that would facilitate effective city management and service delivery to FCT residents.

Speaking earlier, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, Acting Director, FCTA Reform Coordination & Service Improvement (RCSI) Department, disclosed that the workshop, which is a monthly RCSI Knowledge Café, is one of the recommendations at the town hall meeting on removal of illegal structures in the FCT, as a result of residents’ outcry over the removal of illegal structures from some parts of the Federal Capital City.

“We decided to start the Reform Coordination and Service Improvement department monthly knowledge Cafe with you as one of our very important internal stakeholders.

“The knowledge Cafe will bring experts from all the Administration’s technical and service delivery SDAs to interphase with service providers on how to use emerging technologies to improve our services,” she stressed.

Highpoint of the event was the paper presentation by Town planner, Yahaya Yusuf , a retired Director of Development Control Department, who took the participants through the topic: addressing the challenges of urbanisation and indiscriminate development in the Federal Capital City and the Role of District monitors.