FCTA begins demolition of 500 illegal structures in Karmo market

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The Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has begun demolition of over 500 illegal structures at the popular Karmo market, Abuja.

The director of the department, Mr Mukhtar Galadima, explained during the exercise on Wednesday, that the demolition followed the expiration of the 24-hour demolition notices issued to the traders.

The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) recalls that the department had on Monday, served 24-hour demolition notices to operators of the illegal markets and shanties marked for demolition along Karmo – Dei-Dei  road corridor.

Galadima, who was represented by Mr Garba Jibril, an Assistant Director and the Sector Monitor in charge of Karmo and other districts, said that the demolition exercise followed due process.

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He added that the operators of the illegal markets and owners of the illegal structures and shanties have been duly notified and given enough time to evacuate their valuables.

He explained that demolition was necessary considering the huge traffic gridlock being experienced along the road corridor, especially during market days.

“It is a known fact that people spend hours just to pass through the road, particularly during market days.

“To address the challenge, the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike had directed that all illegal structures, shanties, and informal markets along the road corridor should be demolished and removed.

“This will allow free flow of traffic on the road corridor and make life easy for the road users,” he said.

He advised the affected traders to relocate to the fully built and equipped market in the area.

He added that the market operators have agreed to allow the affected traders to occupy a shop free for one year before paying any rent at a subsidised rate, including other incentives.

On his part, Dr Peter Olumuji, Secretary, Command and Control Centre, Department of Security Services, FCTA, said that the clearance would equally improve security in the area.

“There are a lot of shanties and unplanned settlements that people occupy in the area and some of the people commit various types of crime, particularly in the night.

“The demolition will ensure a serene environment that will not be too comfortable for criminals to operate,” Olumuji said.

On the possibility of the traders returning to the road, the secretary said that arrangements have been concluded with the Divisional Police Officer in the area to arrest any trader that operates along the road. (NAN)

By Philip Yatai

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