FCTA issues 1 month ultimatum to owners of land at Apo scrap market

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Monday in Abuja warned owners of plots in Apo-Dutse Scrap market to develop their lands in one month or risk revocation.

Mr Ikharo Attah, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, issued the warning during a meeting with the Association of Apo-Dutse Scrap Market Dealers.

Attah, who said that the FCT Administration spent huge resources to clear the market of illegality, however, expressed worry that most of the plot owners had not taken possession of their lands.

He disclosed that the administration through the Taskforce on City Sanitation removed over 50 illegal shanties and shops.

“We returned back to Apo-Dutse Scrap (Pantaka) market after a short break to continue to remove illegalities on plots of land and we also return for mop up exercise but somehow we are not too please that most of the land allottees have not taken over their land.

“The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, is very bitter and unhappy because most of the land allottees have not taken over their land.

“And he is spending state resources to do the clean-up exercise in terms of buying diesel, paying personnel allowances and servicing the machines.

“People who have gotten land in this place and are waiting for us to clear it should immediately report to Development Control within the next one month.

“Not just fencing the land but also getting building plan approval and building on it. They should not leave the land vacant for too long,’’ he said.

Attah said that the taskforce would recommend and plead with FCT minister to give a grace of one month, “and if there is no meaningful development in terms of fencing and ground breaking for structures.

“The minister should revoke the land. The only way you can get them to move out of here is for the plot owners to take over their plots and start development.

“As long as the plot owners are speculating then pantaker and miscreants will take over their plots,’’ he said.

The senior special assistant, who revealed that the minister might consider allocating alternative land for the association of scrap dealer, advised them to be patient.

The minister’s aide, however, cautioned the scrap dealers to avoid operating with scavengers because the scavengers destroy their good image.

Responding, the Chairman of the association, Malam Anas Ismail, explained that the members of the association were  not regrouping rather they were packing their belongings.

He said the association already wrote to the minister and pleaded with him to give them more time to evacuate their property.

Also, Malam Bala Haruna, the Secretary-General of the association also appealed to the minister to consider their request of allocating a land for them to do their business.

He said that they were over 10,000 scrap dealers in the market. (NAN)