Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is not happy to see that developers have been abusing the private estate development and mass housing policy of the FCT Administration.
“We allocated land and we have the responsibility to make sure that developments are done according to regulations established. But the reality is that it has not worked like that.
“The reality is that going round the city, especially in the fringes and parts of phases 3 and 4, you will see massive estates built under the concept of “mass” housing, but they are all empty. Absolutely empty. No off-takers, no tenants and these structures become security challenge.
“You will see beautiful mansions but no access roads, well-built estates, but the designs on paper are different from what you see on the ground. The quality of road, that is meant to be constructed there, the drainages and the layouts are different from what you see on the plans.”
The Minister spoke, December 10, when he received in audience, members of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the operations of housing estate developers in the FCT, led by its Chairman, Hon. Blessing Onuh, said: “I want to reiterate that every estate is supposed to have green areas, community social centers, places for recreation, for sports and worship because it is meant be a Community”
He decried instances where frictions arose between off-takers and the developers often due to non-disclosure of hidden charges that used to frustrate off-takers who could neither sell their house or vacate them.
Acxording to Muhammad Musa Bello, most of the challenges are as a result of institutions that became weakened due to the rise in FCT’s population and other factors.
“People who were supposed to check standards against performance could not do the work effectively and that is the crux of the matter.”
He said that the FCTA is working with the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and the relevant security agencies as some of the estates also served as a means of money laundering where the basic concepts of KYC (Know Your Customers) have been jettisoned.
Minister said that these challenges are surmountable with the support of the legislature and the judicial system, even as he promised that the FCTA will strengthen its own institutions.
He said that efforts would be made to ensure workable system to be better staffed, better equipped and sanctions applied to individuals who fail to do what they are supposed to do.
Earlier, the Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee, reminded the FCT Administration that on the 29th of June, the Speaker and leadership of the House of Representatives constituted a committee to investigate the operations of real estate developers in the FCT.
He said that the Committee’s mandate is expansive and included liaising with the relevant agencies of the FCTA, prosecute estate developers in cases of fraud and also called on members of the public to lodge their complaint where they will have the opportunity to interface with developers in solving them.
He called for the support and cooperation of the FCT Administration, saying: “there is the need for us to sanitize the sector and in sanitizing it. It has to be a joint force. You have the guidelines and the policies and all it takes is for us to do the right thing.”