No fewer than 600 buildings in different stages of development in the Federal Capital Territory abandoned by their owners may be acquired by the Federal Government next year.
Investigations by our correspondent indicate that many of the buildings located in Gwarimpa, Wuse, Garki, Maitama, Asokoro and other parts of Abuja have become hideouts for criminals and homeless persons.
The structures in various states of dilapidation had been abandoned for many years due to the economic situation in the country, litigation and inheritance crisis among family members.
To address the situation, the Federal Capital Territory Administration is proposing a special fund to acquire the buildings from their owners and resell them to workers under its mass housing scheme.
Disclosing this to The PUNCH in an interview in Abuja on Monday, Director, FCT Development Control Department, Mallam Muktar Galadima, said the FCT Administration planned to send a memo to the Federal Executive Council on the acquisition of the abandoned buildings across the FCT.
The memo, he added, would be dispatched to FEC before December 31.
Galadima said, “We went to the sites and issued identity numbers for ease of integrity tests, we invited the owners to a meeting where we had some discussions and about 130 owners complied, but we are not comfortable with that number.
“Because we have done what we can do within our capacity, we are putting a memo to the (FCT) minister to look at options of revocation or acquisition. But our challenge with revocation is that it would lead to litigation.
“So, the best option is through the Federal Executive Council; if some of these abandoned buildings can be acquired by the Federal Government so that where it is residential houses, workers can be given such houses.
“Where it is offices or commercial buildings, government offices can take over. So, this is the last point we are. In fact, the issue of abandoned buildings is the last matter we are looking at this year. We are trying to see if the Federal Executive Council can come in, maybe by creating special fund through the Federal Mortgage Bank or other housing facilitators.”
Galadima argued that the acquisition of the abandoned buildings by the government would address the housing deficit in the FCT and also reduce homelessness in the city.