The Department of Development Control in Abuja on Friday said it would embark on demolition of more illegal structures in 2014.
The department’s Head of Public Relations, Kalu Emetu, gave the hint during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Mr. Emetu, therefore, urged residents to secure all necessary approvals before erecting any structures in the Nigerian capital.
The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) is responsible for granting permits for development, monitoring and enforcement of physical development in the territory.
Mr. Emetu said residents should cooperate with the department to ensure that Abuja remained a model city. He said it was necessary for developers to ensure that building plans were approved before construction.
He said improper planning of structures was responsible for existence of shanties and collapsed buildings.
He said the department was blamed whenever there was a building collapse in Abuja; saying, “That is why we need to intensify campaign to rid Abuja of illegal structures.”
“When you get approval, you benefit from expert opinion on the structure you are constructing.
“It is wrong for people to continue construction without land title or approved building plans. We will intensify sensitisation in 2014 so that residents will know what we are doing to cooperate more with us.
“Abuja is the pride of Nigeria and residents should cooperate with us to ensure that the high standard is maintained. If we continue to allow such (sub-standard) development, it will seem as if Abuja is a lawless society’’, he said.
Mr. Emetu said the department had just pulled down an illegal structure in Apo, near the Mechanic Village, on Friday.
He added that the construction had been going on since 2008 and despite several warnings, the owner refused to present himself for identification.
“The construction has been going on since 2008 and we have served several notices that the owner should come and clarify issues but the person refused to show up.
“The reason why we serve notices is for the owners of such illegal structures to be aware that there are issues so as to come to the office to rectify them’’, he said.
AMMC Coordinator, Reuben Okoya, told reporters on Wednesday that the council had demolished 4,023 illegal structures and 6,350 shanties.