FCTA serves quit notice to traders in Gwarinpa’s illegal market

by noestuder941

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), via its Department of Development Control, has served a quit notice on the ‘Ya Kasuwa’ market along the N16 road corridor in Gwarinpa, saying they must quit by Wednesday as clearance operations would commence on Thursday.

The director of the department, Mukhtar Galadima, gave the order during a meeting with stakeholders, including representatives of the trade union.

He said the contract for the full-scope development of the arterial road had since been awarded by the FCT Administration and that the contractors had been engaging the traders since last September, but that the traders kept asking for more time, a development he said could no longer be tolerated.

According to him, the timeframe for the contract had since been eaten into by the traders’ refusal to quit, saying if the contract is not executed as scheduled, the cost of materials would keep rising and could lead to demands for contract variation, which is against the policy of the present administration.

He said, “This meeting is basically to inform the traders occupying the N16 road corridor because the last time they were served notices, they were not fully briefed or informed and were not sure if the notice was authentic.

“We want to tell them that yes, the FCT Administration gave out this contract from Ring Road 2 to Ring Road 3. Ring Road 2 starts from Katampe Extension to Life Camp to Jabi Mbora up to the Galadima roundabout, and in between, there is Ring Road 3.

“The contract has been awarded, and we are calling on all those people doing business in the corridor to leave. All structures existing in that corridor are to be removed.

We are calling on you traders and others there to please cooperate with us. Start removing your valuables before we come there.

“We are coming to clear the place. We are giving you until Wednesday to clear your things. By Thursday, we are going to start, he added.

According to him, the contractors had been having discussions with the traders since September 2023 and said that “granting further extensions would eat into the contract time, which could lead to contract variations and more costs.”.

On request by the local council revenue collector for a new market site, the director said since markets are under the councils, it is incumbent on them to look within and allocate a new market to the affected traders.

The secretary of the traders union, who gave his name as Mohammed, said they had operated the market for over 20 years, saying he would convey the government’s message to the traders.

“We were there over 20 years ago, and now it has come to our attention that the road is to be constructed. We are grateful to have been invited, and ours is to now go and sensitise our people so that the traders can look elsewhere. We are asking for more time as we are already concluding plans to relocate, he stated.

Meanwhile, the department has pulled down a structure within an estate in the Karmo district for obstructing a flood plain.

An official of the department, Garba Jubril, said the developer had been so recalcitrant to the extent of even enlisting policemen to frustrate the department from carrying out enforcement duties on the estate.

He said, “We are on Plot 840, Cadastral Zone CO1, Karmo District. It is an estate development, but the challenge we have here is the issue of a recalcitrant developer. This structure we are removing has been marked right from the outset at the foundation level.

“While efforts are made to bring to the attention of the developer that this plot is outside his boundary, it is in the green area and on the flood plain.

“You can see the building just a few metres from the stream here. So it is not safe for habitation. So, all efforts to bring this to his attention proved abortive. Sometimes, when we come here, we meet stiffer opposition from the forces that are behind the man. So, we had so many such challenges here.

“There are about 12 structures that are affected. Some are on the green verge, some are on the floodplain, and some are on the road corridor.

“The developer came, and ironically, he came with his force. In fact, if you can look up there, you can see some policemen in red caps against our policemen that we came with.

In fact, they almost outnumbered our policemen. So, when they came initially, they wanted to confront us and force us to stop, but we proved to them that we could not stop the demolition as it was a directive from above. So eventually, he had to come down and plead after seeing that force couldn’t work.

“Actually, the advice is that they should obey the law. Abuja is a planned city. Whoever wants to build knows what to do. Once you secure the duly allocated land, you should apply for building approval.

“And one thing is to get approval; another thing is at the point of implementation, or they invite our building inspector to come and assess what they are doing because even the quality of structures here is questionable,” he added.

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