No Building Should Remain Vacant For More Than Six Months, Expert Says

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Former Director, Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Malam Yahaya Yusuf, has said that the international best practice is that no building should remain vacant for more than six months.

Yusuf said this at a send-forth party held in his honour by the staff of the department.

According to him, the number of completed but unoccupied structures in the territory had become a matter of serious concern in the FCT. He, therefore, urged the department to sanction such developers.

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“The international best practice is that no completed structure is expected to remain unoccupied for more than six months.

“We have submitted a proposal to that effect and we are awaiting its endorsement before we begin implementation and I urge colleagues not to relent on the proposal.

“Sanctions that will arise from that proposal will make it unprofitable for developers to allow their houses to remain unoccupied for too long.

“We do not derive joy from pulling down illegal structures but it comes as a last resort after other avenues proved ineffective.

“I tell junior colleagues to exhibit professionalism at all times in the discharge of their official duties.

“We should continue to pursue all those initiatives that make the department stand out in the area of city management and development control,” Yusuf said.

Yusuf said various initiatives of the department were designed to make building approval faster and more effective.

He thanked staff of the department for their support over the years, advising them to adhere to regulations in performing their functions of controlling development in the FCT.

Speaking at the ceremony, Acting Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mrs Safiya Umar said Yusuf’s exit would create a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.

“Malam Yusuf is leaving a great vacuum and his shoes will be difficult to fill, considering the value he has added to the department.

“I urge other members of staff to emulate his dedication, tenacity and professionalism so that this vacuum will not become visible to members of the public,” Umar said.

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