The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday evicted illegal food vendors, mechanics, fuel hawkers and petty traders on the rail and road corridors in Area 11 Garki, near the presidential villa, Abuja.
Mr Kaka Bello, the Assistant Director, Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), who led the operation, said the FCTA has zero tolerance for environmental nuisances in the nation’s capital.
Bello, who advised residents to have a healthy attitude towards the environment, noted that if all residents ensured discipline and do what was right, Abuja would remain a clean city.
” As you can see this area falls within the Asokoro District and it is bordering the residents of the number one citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
” And as such this illegality that is happening here will not be allowed to continue.
You can see a lot of sundry nuisances from food vendors, illegal petroleum sellers popularly known as black markers, and illegal mechanics occupying this road corridors.
“This has led to the spillover of their illegal activities on the R.
B. Dikko Road off Lord Lugard street.
This is unacceptable and that is why the Director of AEPB, Mr Osilama Braimah, gave us a matching order to come and ensure that we sanitise this place.
”Bello promised that the board and other agencies of the FCTA saddled with the responsibility of city management would sustain operation in the area on a daily basis.
“We will ensure that this place is sanitised.
The enforcement will continue on daily basis.
As you can see the operation is been carried out by different agencies such as the FCT Directorate of Traffic Road Services (VIO), FCT Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation, NDLEA and the rest.
” He appealed to illegal food vendors, mechanics and illegal petrol sellers to desist from engaging in illegal activities.
”There are legitimate platforms in the territory were such businesses could be carried out without going against the law,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, explained that the place being occupied by the illegal vendors and mechanics was a green area given as a temporary food court.
Attah said that the administration would fence the area, adding that those who have temporary allocation to run a green area, parks and open spaces would take charge.
This, according to him, will be done in accordance with the provisions of the Parks and Recreation Department conditions.
“This is what we will do to ensure that people manage the rail and the road corridors pending when we have full construction and when the place is fully use for road and rail all this things will disappear.
” For now, this is an eyesore.
It is really very bad and sad to see fuel black markers, food vendors, scavenger’s, hawkers and all manner of people using this place.
” This doesn’t paint the city in a very good light considering the fact that it is at the very heart of the city,” Attah said.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has given Mabushi Cashew Forest Pantaker traders two weeks to vacate the “notorious criminal hideouts” or face demolition of the area without a human face.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, issued the ultimatum during a stakeholders’ meeting with the Gwan-Gwan Traders Association Mabushi, on Friday in Abuja.
” After two weeks, whatever is left in the area will be demolished without empathy and sympathy.
But we will stay action since you have appealed and we will convey your message to the Minister.
” But ensure that you pack all your belongings before the expiration of the two weeks.
Please don’t give us the chance to remove your valuables because the bulldozers will not know how valuable they are to you.
” You have two weeks to remove them.
Last week, you begged us on site.
We will informed the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and the Commissioner of Police , Sunday Babaji that you have two weeks to remove your valuables.
” Attah said that the minister directed the task force to clean all criminal hideouts in the nation’s capital.
“Those at the Apo-Dutse Pantaker pleaded for time and after the expiration of the time, they started demolishing the shanties themselves.
“But I must say the way you are going, i am not convinced that you people are ready to leave after two years , you are still asking for more time?
,” he said.
Similarly, the Assistant Director of Enforcement in Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mr Kaka Bello, said the board would ensure constant monitoring of the area to check compliance.
” The movement and evacuation will be in phases, before the end of the two weeks , every batches must go; all their it terms must be evaluated including the heavy duty machines.
” Also, the Chairman, Gwan-Gwan Traders Association Mabushi, Malam Salisu Rabiu, who appealed for more time to pack their valuables, begged the FCT Administration to provide them with an alternative place where they can do their legitimate business.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has cautioned Abuja natives against renting out their economic trees and plantations to scavengers and operators of ‘Pantekars’ in the territory.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, issue the warning when he led a clean up exercise in Mabushi and Jahi areas of Abuja, on Wednesday.
Attah said that it was unacceptable for owners of undeveloped plots of land or buildings under construction to rent out their properties for illegal land use different from what was in the master plan.
He warmed that henceforth, the FCT Administration would report the owner of the property to the police, if the criminality spiked.
According to him, “we will report to the Minister to take the necessary actions.
” We are removing scavengers’ shanties, around Mabushi area, close to Orji Uzor Kalu’s House.
“The FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, advised the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on the need to actually clear this area in order to make this area more secured.
“Consequently, the minister directed us to clear all scavengers in this area, just by Orji Uzor Kalu’s house, we are clearing many shanties and scavengers’ dens.
“It is part of our agenda to clear the city and today we found someone’s national identity card and international passport, that was probably stolen.
” He said the area was a high brow one and it won’t be right for scavengers to stay there .
“We will be handing them over to appropriate agencies to locate the owners of the identity card and international passport,”he said.
The minister’s aide decried that cashew plantations were now criminals hideouts in Abuja.
” The cashew trees are no longer economic trees again, they are insecurity trees, because whenever we go out, we see criminals hiding under the trees.
“They have become safe havens for criminals.
” We have already told the indigenous people that any cashew plantation that is rented out to scavengers, when we get there we won’t spare the cashews trees.
“This is because, we must touch every illegal structure in the plantation and remove them.
” If anybody rent out his property to illegal occupants, we condemn it totally and if we get the owner, we will report the owner to the police.
” If the criminality is too much,we will report to the minister to take the necessary action.
”Also, the Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mr Osilamah Braimoh, said there was no going back on the decision that all scavenger’s must move to dump sites to do their business.
Represented by the Assistant Director, AEPB, Mr Kaka Bello, said that it was unacceptable that residential areas were being misused.
He said that accumulation of wastes was hazardous to the health of people in that area.
“The implications to the environment it is degrading the environment and hazardous to the health of the people in the area.
“The scavengers’ dens that are being removed today had been removed severally, but they keep coming back.
” In the past, AEPB asked them to vacate the area and ensure they use the dump site, for all this their activities but unfortunately they have refused to vacate.
” We have no choice but to remove them, these are residential areas but they have occupied these places and some of the challenges is accumulation of waste and others,”he said.
He said that anyone who want to do the business of waste recycling they must do it at the dump sites in Abuja.
“We have had series of meetings with them and told them that if they must operate, they must use the dump site and we have over 90 hectres of land which they can use, which they can use for recycling,” he added.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has vowed to sustain the demolition of illegal structures, markets and shanties built on the enchroached rail corridor in Gwarinpa.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, stated this after clean up exercise at Gwarinpa, on Friday in Abuja.
Attah explained that the exercise was being coordinated by joint Taskforce team which comprises of FCTA Senior officials, Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force , as well as Federal Road Safety Corps.
Others are Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He listed others to include the Department of State Services, the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
The minister’s aide said that the joint taskforce team stormed the Gwarimpa rail corridor unannounced to commence demolition of shanties, market and butchers defacing the area.
According to him, the shanties were not only cleared, but also burnt to ashes with a view to preventing a comeback of the illegal structures and market.
Attah said that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Sunday Babaji, had renewed commitment to clearing all criminal hideouts in the nation’s capital.
He said: ” We are here for several reasons, the first one is that there have been series of complaints over this place.
”Secondly, the issue of city sanitation is a problem here and general issues of insecurity here.
” This is Hayari market , we cleared it last year and this year we have come again to clear it because the traders returned.
“The FCT Police Commissioner, Babaji and Police Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Gwarinpa had gotten report of criminal activities going on here.
”The residents had also complained very bitterly of persons trying to hide here as cover to rob neighborhoods and that has been very alarming.
” Attah revealed that during the exercise, some arrests were made of people carrying illicit drugs by the NDLEA of the Command and Control JTF team under the CP of FCT and DC Bernard Iwe. “The Police also arrested three suspected criminals and the NDLEA arrested two people allegedly peddling drugs.
”This is a big task, but we are not given up.
We will keep coming until they stop to come,”he added.
Staff of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) on Friday suspended their three- day warning strike following the intervention of the FCT Minister, Malam Mohmmed Bello, over their salary matters.
The workers, under the auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) appreciated Bello for the intervention.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the AEPB workers went on a three-day strike due to alleged failure of the FCT Administration to implement the new salary structures for the board after the expiration of several ultimatums.
The strike, which commenced on Wednesday, was suspended after three days, due to the intervention of the minister.
The Secretary of the union, Mr Udeme Umanah, who spoke on behalf of the workers, told NAN that the minister and other authorities in the FCT Administration met with some union executives.
Umanah said that series of meetings were held during the period of the strike over the salary implementation.
“During the three day strike, the national body of the union had a meeting with the minister, Permanent Secretary of the FCT, Adesola Olusade and other authorities in the FCT Administration.
“Meanwhile, when the strike commenced on Aug. 16, 2022, the minister went to the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission and requested that letter submitted by the FCT administration on the salary structure should be responded.
“So, because of the minister`s persuasion, the commission forwarded a response of the letter which was dispatched to the minister.
“The minister, however, directed Olusade to act on the letter.
“The letter was moved to the Department of Human Resources, in the FCT administration to comply with the implementation of the salary structure,’’ he said.
Umanah said that the implementation would have effect from September with arrears payment from January 2020 to August 2022. He thanked Bello and other authorities who intervened for the salary implementation, and appreciated the AEBP workers for their cooperation.
One of the workers, who preferred anonymity, appreciated the minister for the intervention.
He said the workers expected the effective implementation of the salary as promised by the minister.
Strike: FCThe striking staff of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), on Thursday threatened to shutdown all public cemeteries in the Federal Capital Territory.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the threat was coming after the striking workers shutdown the cemeteries on Wednesday, but agreed to reopen them on Thursday.
The striking workers had been on an indefinite strike since Tuesday over the failure of the FCT Administration to implement a new salary structure for them.
Comrade Muktar Bala, Chairman of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) in AEPB, told newsmen that if no action was taken, the cemeteries will be shut down.
He said that the union would also shut down all other operational systems of the environmental board.
Bala said the FCT administration had not placed any priority on the welfare of members of the union, who were daily exposed to various health hazards, including handling of corpses.
According to him, the reopening of the cemeteries on Thursday was temporary to allow for negotiation, but will be shut down again if the discussions fail.
“As the Chairman of one of the unions in AEPB, I can assure you that it is a collective decision by the whole unions, with backings from the National union.
“People think it is only waste management that we do, they don’t know that even unclaimed corpses in hospitals are taken care of by us.
“These dead bodies that have over stayed in the hospital for three to four years, we take care of them, without knowing what killed them.
“Hospitals come to us when they want mass burial for such dead bodies.
If there are unclaimed or unknown corpses either on the road or elsewhere, Police will write reports and bring them to us for burial.
“All these hazards, people don’t look at it.
We want to tell the administration that apart from managing the solid waste, we engage in other things,” the chairman said.
Bala emphasised that if no agreement was reached, the union would not only shut down the cemeteries, but also close all the board’s systems and operations in the territory.
The members of staff of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) on Wednesday said they would embarked on an indefinite strike over the non-implementation of a new salary structure.
The workers under auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), had on Tuesday commenced a 3-days warning strike over their demands The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workers vowed never to return to work until their demands were met.
The Secretary of the union, Mr Udeme Umanah, who spoke on behalf of the union, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the warning strike was for three days.
Umanah said that the workers decided to embark on the strike due to failure of the FCT administration to implement the new salary structures for AEPB after the expiration of several ultimatums.
He said that if nothing was done after the three day warning strike the union would embark on an indefinite strike.
NAN also reports that the workers also barricaded the board`s headquarters and vowed never to return to work until their needs were met.
The workers carried placard with various inscriptions like: “Pay us our newly approved salary.
It is our right, not a privilege, we are tired of promises’’.
Umanah said that the new salary structure had been approved since 2019 by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammed Bello, but was yet to be implemented by the management.
He said that the board was an autonomous agency established under its Acts of 1997, adding that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) wanted the board to be a department under the administration.
“The presidential committee approved the same salary structures as well as the National Salary and Income Wages Commission, which was forwarded to FCTA in 2021. “They commence Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) from January 2020. The Health, Agriculture, Social Development Secretariat and Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) earn different salary structures.
“So, the union gave the administration 21- day notice to implement the salary structure, nothing happen, we gave them another seven days and then finally, we gave them the last three days notice.
“Nothing also was done.
So, it was after the expiration of the three days notice that the minister called us for a meeting and agreed to implement the salary structures.
“The minister then pleaded that we should not embark on strike, that we should give the administration two weeks to sort everything out,’’ he said.
Umanah said that the two weeks’ notice agreed at the meeting with the minister has ended and the administration had refused to implement the salary structure.
“We decided to go for the three day warning strike, which will be ending on Aug. 18, we are still waiting for them to commence the implementation.
“So, after Aug. 18,.
and nothing happened we will now proceed on an indefinite strike’’ he said.
FCTA begins mThe Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation on Thursday began massive sanitation around Utako, Jabi Park and Wuya Districts to tackle environmental nuisance.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise has resulted into huge displacement of several illegal car marts, mechanic workshops, worship places, road side traders and a scavengers’ colony.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, explained that the minister was saddened by the level of environmental nuisance during his recent visit to the areas.
Attah noted with dismay that some residents had taken for granted the FCT Administration’s decision to use stakeholders’ engagement and respect for human rights in dealing with developmental issues before any enforcement.
He bemoaned the activities of some lawless persons that were gradually turning the Utako and Jabi parks areas to places that jeopardised both health and security of the city.
Attah noted that even the scavengers that took over nearby undeveloped plots around the districts had added growing of cannabis to their other illegal activities.
According to him, the sanitation will remain a priority of the administration until total sanity is restored and the environment reclaimed for better developmental projects.
“What is going on here is a total clean-up in Utako, Wuye and Tunde Idiagbon connecting point.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, gave us the order and we started the joint operations.
“At this place, we are removing Baban Bola.
You could be shocked seeing matured grown cannabis.
“We have been seeing them regularly within the Baban Bola colonies.
It is not safe for people to stay here, especially when Baban Bola takes over a karelia expanse of land like this.
“Both environmental, security and planning issues are reasons why we are carrying out this massive clean-up exercise and I believe the whole of this road stretch will wear a new look in the next one week.” Also speaking, Mr Kaka Bello, an Assistant Director of Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), said the clean-up had become necessary following reports of security breaches coming from the scavengers colony.
Bello, who admitted that the areas posed challenges, also explained that the administration’s resolve to sustain the clean- up exercise was justifiable, as the areas had been severally sanitised but the lawless occupants refused to give up.
He also explained that the administration had reached out to the owners of the empty plots with several notices and might take actions if such owners refused to commence development after three months.
“This is a place with a lot of challenges.
The Baban Bola colony here is not just constituting environmental nuisance but security challenges and that is why we are here.
“We came here yesterday to give them notice, beside the notices we have been giving them.
“The measures we have is to ensure continuous enforcement.
Just as you clean your house everyday, we will continue to enforce compliance.
“Besides that, FCTA has directed that all plot owners should come and take ownership of their property within three months.
“That is, those that have building plan approvals and those who don’t have should also come forward or appropriate actions will be taken,” Bello said.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Wednesday in Abuja warned owners of undeveloped landed property in parts of Wuye District to quickly develop them or risk revocation.
The Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr Umar Shuiabu issue the warning when he led the ministerial joint taskforce on sensitisation of Wuye residents ahead of planned demolition of illegal structures in the district.
“We have many environmental, security and aesthetic challenges in parts of Abuja, including this area and this calls for sanitation of such places.
“Abuja is a planned and a beautiful city with world class infrastructure not seen in some countries, so we must not give anyone reason to question the sanity of this city.
“We have constructed beautiful road networks here but what we can see is illegal use of the road by mechanics and hawkers, among others.
“This has rendered this road impassable.
We want to remove this embarkment and give opportunity to all citizens and plot owners to use this road.
“Infact, there are other places also where these scavengers have taken over and we will do whatever that is legally possible to clear them.
“It is not only here, but in every other part of the city where illegality exists, we will remove it, till the time we will we have money to provide the infrastructure.” The AMMC boss said the FCTA was going to revoke and reallocate those not willing and able to develop the area instead of allowing it to lay fallow.
“Instead of developing this land, they leave the land and make it turn into a challenge for the city management.
“We have already provided infrastructure and the plot owners have not taken over.
We are going to give them final notice if they don’t develop it, we are going to revoke it and give it to those who will develop.” He explained that the ultimatum was already in the papers for the land and we have power to revoke the land.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Mr Ikharo Attah, said that the minister went round the area and it was very clear what he wanted.
“He wanted a massive cleanup of the entire area around Utako motor park, along Tunde Idiagbon Way.” Attah said that the minister directed all illegal structures and contraventions that run short of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Act and Regional Planning Act should be removed and cleaned up in line with the Abuja Master Plan.
According to Attah, in less than a week Utako will wear new look.
“The minister is very clear about the revocation of undeveloped plots.
He (minister) asked the Acting Director of Development Control to go with a team of town planners, inform and notify the plot owners and take over their plots within a stipulated period.
” Else the plots will be recommended to the minister for revocation.
We cannot have plots that will be hideouts for criminals,” he warned.
On his part, the Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, AEPB, Kaka Bello explained that his team had served them notice but was dissatisfied with the level of compliance.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Wednesday said it would prosecute a landlord and four other persons for destruction of public property within an Abuja estate.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a landlord of House No. 4, Sani Zangon Daura St., off Bala Muhammad Way, Guzape District, Abuja, allegedly commissioned a company to drill a borehole on a walkway.
FCTA Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, who led the operation, frowned at level of destruction of public property by developers and landlords.
Galadima warned that the FCTA would not hesitate to use relevant laws to prosecute violators.
Reacting to the development, he said “the residents woke up to find some people drilling borehole on their road. They drilled the borehole on the pedestrian walkway; in fact my heart is pained.
“This is a serious damage to the environment. Definitely we are going to prosecute him. That is why we are in liaison with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other relevant agencies to prosecute the offenders.
“This is damaging public property. This is vandalism. This is an opportunity for me to warn other developers that we will not accept this from any developer.”
Galadima said that the FCTA would resist any attempt by any developer to use pedestrian walkway to drill borehole.
“You have your property and you must obtain approval before you can drill borehole wherever it is going to be.
“It was a concerned citizen that drew our attention to this. We will not allow this. We will continue monitoring developments in Abuja, even during weekends,” he said.
On his part, AEPB’s Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, Malam Kaka Bello, said the board would corroborate with FTCA to prosecute the alleged culprit.
Also, the Chief Engineer in charge of Guzape area, Mr Aliyu Ahmed lamented the rate at which boreholes were being drilled indiscriminately in the area.
“The issue of drilling of boreholes on our walkway has been rampant. There are many boreholes sunk around this area alone.
“We are going to lock up all the illegal boreholes. Drilling borehole on the road corridor is illegal. You can drill borehole inside your compound but the outside of your compound doesn’t belong to you.”
A staff of the drilling firm handling the project, Davita Drill Tech, Mr Solomon Donald, told journalists that they started the drilling since Sunday.
He, however, could not ascertain whether there was a permit from the authorities to drill since the owner of the house could not be reached.
NAN reports that FCTA authorities apprehended Donald and three of his colleagues, including a gateman for further questioning. (