Abuja Building Collapse: FCTA to Review Approvals to FHA…as Minister Orders Arrest of FHA Officials

By: Wisdom Acka

The authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), said it is set to review the building plan permit ceded to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), over incessant collapse of buildings being developed in Gwarimpa Estate.

This development came just as the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, called on the security agencies to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the incident of a collapsed three-story building in Gwarimpa Estate, Thursday in Abuja.

Federal Housing Authority (FHA) involved in the construction of the building which collapsed in Gwarinpa Estate, killing three persons and injuring many will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, disclosed this while briefing journalists Saturday on preliminary findings from investigation so far carried out on the incident in his office in Wuse, Zone 6, Abuja.

Recall that the three-storey building collapsed on Thursday morning at the 6th Avenue, FHA Gwarinpa Housing Estate, Abuja, trapping 24 persons; 21 of whom were rescued, while three got fatally injured.

Umar revealed that the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello has directed the security agencies to arrest and prosecute the FHA officials in charge of granting the development permit and monitoring of the development for manslaughter of the deceased.

Also to be arrested and charged to court are the supervising Engineer, as well as the Developer of the three-storey structure.

In his words: “Our preliminary findings suggest that there were breaches in the location -the building plan approval, the control and the monitoring of the development by the FHA, with glaring criminal tendencies by the Developer, and or his representative during the construction activities.”

“Also revealed was the glaring incapacity of the FHA to handle development control in Abuja and shoulder the responsibility of sensitive operations of this nature in cases of emergencies,” he added.

The Coordinator stated that other ongoing developments within the vicinity have been sealed and put under investigation as structural integrity tests were being carried out to determine their status for further actions.

“If found to be faulty, they are going to be demolished by the FCT Administration, before any life is endangered”, he added.

The AMMC boss hinted that the FCT Administration was considering taking over some of its responsibilities earlier ceded to the FHA.

“Among the statutory responsibilities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration is the development of the Federal Capital Territory, in line with the Abuja Master Plan.

“Accordingly, the entire Gwarinpa Estate, occupying the Gwarinpa II, Wupa and Bunkoro Districts of the Phase III of the City development was allocated to the Federal Housing Authority by the FCTA, to provide essentially houses and attendant services to the citizens”, he stressed.

These responsibilities include, to develop, control and ensure strict compliance with the Abuja Maste必利勁 r Plan, using the land use plan as provided by the Federal Capital Development Authority as a guide.

“However, this incidence is suggesting that there are flagrant violations in the development guidelines of the Gwarimpa II, Wupa and Bunkoro Districts as developed and controlled by the FHA, hence the FCTA has resolved to revisit that ceded mandate in granting development permit and control to the FHA in the Gwarinpa Estate”, he noted.

The Coordinator, therefore, commiserated with families of those who lost loved ones in the incident and appreciated all those who provided support, even as he pledged the FCTA would get to the root of the matter and take appropriate steps towards preventing reoccurrence.