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Latest on FESTAC Demolition: We will sustain the exercise – Ashafa

The Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Senator Gbenga Ashafa, on Friday said the demolition of substandard and illegal construction across FESTAC Town in Lagos would continue but will however ensure some squatters are relocated.
Ashafa, represented by Mr. Chinonso Omoke, FHA Executive Director, Project Implementation during a meeting with stakeholders at FHA Zonal office, Lagos, said that the ongoing restoration of estates would soon become a nationwide affair.

Ashafa said that the recent demolition around the 9th Avenue in Festac Town did not target any group. He said that encroachers defied all warnings and notices against illegal construction, thereby, undermining FHA’s authority.

“Though painful but inevitable, we will not fold our hands and cheer the distortion of our master plan under any guise, no matter how highly placed the defaulter might be.
“Individuals decided to obstruct the major access to the 9th Avenue, by directly constructing on the road.
“We have started this sustained exercise of clearing them and negotiations on them are foreclosed.

“We have also observed that some other buildings in that part of FESTAC are already structurally challenged, so much that in places piling was required, ordinary raft foundations were put in place,” he said.

The Managing Director warned that the agency would adopt all possible measures to avert building collapse and forestall any loss of life in FESTAC Town.

He said management was touched by several appeals from owners of contravening buildings and had decided to relocate those with genuine cases.

“Management may have to consider alternative settlement, but must not compromise professional standards.

“Such structures must pass integrity tests; where original allottees’ land have been taken, compensation must be fully paid, re-survey carried out, penalties paid, before we can re-integrate them into our estate,” he said.

Ashafa warned that the ongoing restoration would soon be extended beyond 9th Avenue to all parts of FESTAC Town and FHA estates in Lagos and across the nation.
“We appeal to all illegal developers in all our estates to stop forthwith.
“For all those disobeying our stop work notices, we advise them to desist and save themselves the agony of losing so much,” he said.
Ashafa advised those acquiring land in any FHA estate to visit its Zonal offices in the six geo-political zones for necessary guidance and information.
He said that FHA does not appoint third party agents.

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