The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has ordered owners of empty plots of land providing cover for criminal elements to begin the development of their properties or have their permits revoked.
The threats are sequel to efforts to rid Apo District of criminals allegedly being harboured at the scrap market on Friday.
Recall that with almost 4,000 demolished shanties, the popular Scrap (Pantaker) market had been operating for several years, unlawfully occupying a significant area of land within a residential neighbourhood.
Comrade Ikharo Attah, FCT Minister’s Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, who led the team to continue with the demolition, advised owners of unoccupied plots to go to the Department of Development Control right away to seek permits.
He, however, warned that the Administration would have no option but to revoke the titles to the plots if the owners fail to take over the reclaimed lands.
Attah said, the place had been infiltrated by all manners of dangerous criminals, hence the need to demolish it, and that it was regrettable that original allottees had kept the land with the intentions to make more money.
He further advised those who are interested in the Pantaker business to move to Gosa Dumpsites, and not relocate to other illegal places.
According to him: ” What we have advised and would use this medium to notify plot owners within this area to report themselves immediately to Development Control to obtain building plan approval and commence building on their plots of land.
” If they fail to do so we will be left with no option, but to write and recommend to the Minister for the revocation of all land titles, because we cannot suffer in vain clearing this place for this number of days, and the owners will sit down to speculate, waiting for when they will make big money.
” What we are telling them, is that the owners of this expanse of land housing the Apo-Dutse Pantaker should commence development or it will be revoked and given to those who are ready to develop.
” We have advised the operators of Pantaker to move to Gosa Dumpsites. As they keep going to the wrong places, we will continue to go after them.
” To avoid criminalities in the scrap market, we have also advised them to move to the permanent site and develop internal mechanisms to stop criminals from infiltrating them”, he stated in categoric terms.