The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mbaukaan Eric Iormba, has said that Abuja, the Federal Capital City, is a dream that must not be aborted.
The Executive Secretary, who was reacting to the erection of illegal developments in the city, said it was incumbent upon every stakeholder to take up the responsibility of maintaining the Abuja Master Plan.
“Everybody, when they come and see Abuja, they praise Abuja and it is because of the good work that the planners have put in place to ensure that they implement that which is on the master plan, and we have to maintain that, no matter the challenges,” he said.
He decried that despite notices that there should be no developments in the phases IV and V of the city, particularly in Lugbe axis, developers have gone ahead to build estates without waiting to acquire the requisite development approvals.
He maintained that the suspension to grant building approvals in those phases of the city was to ensure the master plan does not get distorted.
“The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) under the department of Urban and Regional Planning are working to identify developments that are germane and genuine so that they can be integrated into the master plan. So that is the issue. But as you know, our people always neglect some of these things. Some developers are still going ahead to development without those approvals.
“Even before the policy came into existence, there were a lot of developers that went ahead and developed mass housing without requisite approvals.
“In fact, an investigative panel, some time ago, proved that some even forged those approvals they were parading. So, it’s a thing of concern, and we, as a professional body, we are in support of what the FCT Administration and the Department of Development Control are trying to do. It is all good because our aim is to ensure Abuja is a liveable city. But if we develop a city where at the end, it is full of chaos and disaster, it won’t work.
“You can see what is happening around Lokogoma axis, it’s because most of the developers moved to site without taking into cognizance the requisite plans or the right things that they need to put in place. There are streams and other places that you don’t need to develop on. But these people when they moved into site, in their plan to just make the money, they would do anything at all. They filled up those water ways and those are the consequences that we are seeing today. So, it’s something that we need to address before it is too late,” Iormba reiterated.