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Ending harassment of FCT development control staff

It is pertinent to note that the Development Control Department of the FCT Administration under the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) does not allocate land…

It is pertinent to note that the Development Control Department of the FCT Administration under the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) does not allocate land in the FCT and has no power to revoke any plot allocation but we must ensure there is no contending issue(s) surrounding ownership before the grant of a building permit.

Unfortunately, our staff sometimes become victims of unwarranted harassment with framed-up charges against them by some dubious developers.

Other challenges associated with legal bottlenecks include court actions and orders that hinder the delay of grant of development permit. The department is most times compelled to abide by such court injunctions in order not to be charged with contempt of court.

We, therefore, wish to call on the public to always abide by the rules and our security agencies to thoroughly investigate land matters before prosecution, as not doing these will deprive or delay rightful owners’ access to the development of their plots.

The development control department is the one saddled with the responsibility of guiding and controlling physical development as well as ensuring the implementation of the Abuja Master Plan.

Specifically, the department is responsible for granting official permit for all forms of physical development (private and public) and monitoring same to ensure suitability of completed development for human habitation.

The department also grants setting out permit, stage approval permit, and continuous monitoring to ensure implementation, and also determines and applies appropriate sanction for non-compliance with development guidelines and regulations.

It also provides guidelines for improvement of aesthetics for private and public properties and streetscape, and offers advice and counselling services to prospective developers.

The appropriate documents required by the department for processing building plan approval include a completed application form, title document, e.g. C of O, Right of Occupancy, title deed plan and evidence of statutory payment .

Other requirements include site location plan, site analysis report, geo-technical or soil analysis report, and environmental impact analysis report for different categories of land uses, and of course any other document or plan as prescribed by the department as necessary.

The department usually grants building approval plans with an average period of 90 days provided all the requirements are met. This is in line with Section 34 (4) of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law CAP N138, LFN 2004, as amended.

It is, however, worrisome to note that while the department has simplified the processes, there are many recalcitrant developers that always refuse to abide by the set rules and regulations, and these escalate to become security, legal and social matters, with dire consequences for our society. 

Tpl. Umar Shuaibu, Coordinator, AMMC

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