Also, the designing and construction of residences for the four presiding officers in National Assembly will gulp N300 million in 2013.
According to the FCT 2013 National Priority Budget presented to the Senate FCT Committee on Tuesday by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Senator Bala Mohammed, the FCT will next year build a N2 billion house for the Vice President.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister boasted that no law can stop him from demolishing 31 estates and Mpape in the FCT.
He said this when asked on efforts he was making to ensure that houses were not demolished without the backing of the law.
His words: ‘’Which law? Which law are you asking for? We have the responsibility to enforce the Master Plan. The FCDA has a law and the Abuja Master Plan is not compromising.”
When a member of the Committee, Senator Domingo Obende reminded him thus, ‘’Hon Minister you just said to us that you don’t have a law, the FCT Minister replied saying, ‘’I have a law for demolishing.
The law I said I don’t have is the one the chairman asked on the issue of parking. But for demolishing I have the law and I don’t even have to interfere with Development Control law under the Land Use Act.”
Committee Chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi asked if alternative arrangements had been provided for those who would be affected, against the backdrop that some civil servants were found to be complicit in the demolished Minanuel Estate.
Mohammed replied: “I have the law and I don’t even have to interfere with Development Control Law under the Land Use Act.”
According to him: ‘’Some of those estates that you said we have not given notice, we can give you evidence when you come when right from the foundation we have been telling the developer ‘don’t do it. This place is designed. It is not your own plot. You have not even obtained Development Control approval. Yet they will go ahead and develop and you expect us to leave them to practice that impunity thinking that will go through the corrupt system and get it regularize.
‘’Certainly we will not allow the business of government to be extricated by this type of unwholesome attitude. And it is with all humility that we do demolition. It is not because we like it. It is not the moral issue but the moral baggage is also on the society to know that government is just a service to them and if they continue to abuse it certainly we have to take the remedial measures in terms of enforcement and we do enforcement after persuasion.
‘’Not just going with the big hammer to start killing the fly but we normally give all the information and in particular cases of the expense we will give you all the information that you require. We are in court. We don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of the court but certainly we will not allow the huge investment made by the federal government for the last 35 years to the tune of N3 or N4trillion to be destroyed by the wishful interest of some few individuals who are just using the media and using some offices of government to blackmail us. we are not doing it for ourselves, we are doing it out of absolute responsibility.
‘’Development control is just a government office. We don’t have power of enforcement. We use the police sometimes we use the military but people don’t listen and like you said we will want more capacity to be built. In the Mass Housing area, when it was started, it was about four to five district and we did not have the capacity for oversight but now we are really building with the support that we are getting from you. You can see in our statutory budget all this things captured so that we can have more in terms of enforcement.
‘’But certainly as you said we are not just allowing it to grow until it reach a level then we come and start demolishing. At every stage we give notice ‘please stop.’ But when they refuse to stop and we don’t have capacity to go and stop them from the onset unless they refuse to it then we now know that yes, these people mean business and we have demolished and we are in court and we will plead with you to allow us exercise our statutory responsibilities over all these duties and of course since it is in court so that it will not pre-empt what is going on.”