Following the collapse of a four-storey building that killed three people in the Gwarinpa District of Abuja, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bello Mohammed, has directed the Abuja Department of Development Control to henceforth take responsibility for approving development plans in Abuja.
The minister has also barred any individual or body from granting building plan approvals without the authorisation of the Department of Development Control.
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is blamed for granting approval plans for residential buildings on sewer lines, green areas and flood plains in Gwarimpa which has led to many cases of collapsed buildings in the area.
“The minister said the Development Control Department of the FCT Administration would take full responsibility for building plan approvals and construction supervision in the Territory in accordance with extant regulations.
“The minister gave this directive in reaction to the unfortunate incident of building collapse on Monday at Gwarinpa. He reminded the Department that in line with the provisions of Section 7, Sub-section 1-3 of the FCT Act of 1976 and Part II, Section 27-41 of the Nigeria Urban & Regional Planning Law of 1992 amended in 1999, no person or body is authorized to carry out any development within the FCT without the written approval of the FCT Department of Development Control.
“Bello also directed the Department to ensure that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) that approved and was supervising the collapsed building, and other stakeholders in mass housing development sub-sector in the FCT to henceforth adhere strictly to all regulations on property development in the Territory. He said further that the FCT Administration will no longer ignore the construction of buildings on flood plains and will take necessary measures to correct the anomalies.
“While sympathizing with the victims of the incident, the minister said that human lives often lost in the process of building collapse can be avoided if simple urban and regional regulations were sternly followed. He emphasised that his administration would not fold its arms to watch the wanton waste of lives; stressing that human life is sacred and must be protected”, a statement from the minister’s office said.