FG pledges to continue illegal demolition of FESTAC structures and evict squatters

The Federal Housing Authority has pledged to continue the demolition of unsanitary and illegal structures in the town of FESTAC, Lagos, adding that some squatters will be relocated.

General Manager Sen Gbenga Ashafa, who was represented by FHA Executive Director, Project Implementation Mr. Chinonso Omoke, said in a meeting with stakeholders at the FHA area office , in Lagos, Friday.

Ashafa said: “Although painful but inevitable, we will not fold our hands and encourage the distortion of our master plan in any form, no matter how high the defaulter may be. Individuals have decided to obstruct the major access to 9th Avenue, by building directly on the road.

“We have started this sustained exercise of cleaning them up and negotiations on them are stuck. We also observed that some other buildings in this part of FESTAC are already structurally challenged, so much so that in some places piles were necessary, ordinary raft foundations were put in place.

The director general said the agency would take all possible measures to prevent the collapse of buildings and prevent any loss of life in the town of FESTAC.

He said: “Management may need to consider an alternative settlement, but must not compromise professional standards.

“Such structures must pass integrity tests; when the lands of the original beneficiaries have been taken, the compensation must be fully paid, the re-surveying done, the penalties paid, before we can reinstate them in our domain.

Ashafa warned that the ongoing restoration would soon be extended beyond 9th Avenue to all parts of FESTAC City and FHA estates in Lagos and across the country.

The president of the residents’ association of FESTAC city, Mr. Shola Fakorede, said the demolition exercise was in the interest of the citizens.

According to him, those who have encroached on the grip are obstacles to development.

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Ida M. Morgan