The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Development Control (DDC), Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) are to set up an inter-agency committee to guide development control in FHA estates in Abuja.

The FHA will develop the framework for the operation of the committee and send it to the DDC for its input and rectification.

These were some of the decisions taken at a meeting between the FHA management and the department in Abuja.

FHA  Managing Director Prof Mohammed Al-Amin, told the visiting DDC acting Managing Director Alhaji Hamza Tayyab, that the authority has seen some vibrancy in development control activities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said the FHA would support the FCT Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, in his quest to bequeath, a model city to the FCT that would make all Nigerians proud. The authority, Al-Amin said, would work on attaining  excellence in its business, adding that the agency had a strong promising to meet the expectations of FHA’s partners in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). FHA, he said, would stop any contravention brought to its notice, stating that it is important to resolve outstanding matters  amicably.

On assumption of office, Al-Amin said, he ordered a study on the development of the authority’s Gwarinpa Estate in Abuja, adding that the exercise turned out disturbing revelations.  The report, according to him, showed that rather than the standard 20 per cent of the estate left as green area, only five per cent was. In addition, he said the report warned that with climate change on the rise, the estate stood the risk of flooding because of allocations across water channels and flood areas.

The FHA boss said he had stopped such allocations and was exploring ways to relocate those already made. He said the authority was worried about the spate of illegal conversion of residential buildings into commercial use, its management. He said had considered converting three of the avenues in the estate into commercial boulevards, but the Urban and Regional Department of the FCDA resisted the move because it considered it a breach of the master plan of the estate.

Tayyab said his team was at FHA because it considered it a strategic partner in the development of the FCT. He explained that the new FCT Minister had a vision of what the Territory should be and that all stakeholders owed it duty to achieve the vision.

He said the minister was against the granting of building approvals on flood plains, green areas and on the hills of Abuja but said his agency had noticed contraventions in some FHA allocations such as on Maitama Hill where there is no access and which ought to be preserved.

He said similar breach was noticed in Apo and Gwarinpa Estate, especially where he said residential buildings were being flagrantly converted to commercial use and approvals were granted for buildings along flood plains.

Tayyab said his agency was aware of the FHA’s lack of capacity in equipment and manpower and promised that his department was ready to synergise with the FHA to facilitate the development of a city of everybody’s dreams.