The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has warned landlords in the Federal Capital Territory to strictly ensure that their buildings were used only for the purposes they were designed in the Abuja Master Plan.
The Minister gave this charge, Friday, when the Nyanya (Phase I) Landlords’ Association, Abuja visited him in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja.
He said it had become necessary to forestall situations where some of the landlords were converting residential properties into nightclubs, brothels and worship centers, against the purposes for which they were designed and approved by the FCT Development Control Department.
Malam Bello stated that as community leaders, the landlords had a duty to insist that anybody staying in any of their properties subscribe to basic minimum standards of behaviour agreed between them and the tenants.
His words: “A lot of activities take place in these buildings that are illegal. They are all done in properties owned by people. For every property, there is purpose for it. If as a landlord, you allow somebody to rent your house and before you know it, he converts it into a nightclub and the wrong people come there, it affects the neighbours”.
The Minister who explained that districts and communities in the FCT were specifically designed to have areas for schools, commercial activities, residential and hospitals, regretted that some landlords allowed for mixed use, which he reiterated often, has led to breakdown of law and order in the community.
“If your member rented a house out and before you know it, the tenant has converted it into a church or a mosque or a nightclub and then instead of normal service time that we know, somebody will put up something at 2.00am. This is wrong. You have to police these things and give us report so that we can enforce”, he stressed.
“You as a community, not only in Nyanya but in all communities of the FCT, it is very important that community based associations like your own also partner with us to make sure that we bring welfare and a very conducive living environment for the people,” the Minister added.
While making clarifications on the FCTA’s recent decision to shut substandard schools within the Territory, Malam Bello said some of the schools operated in such deplorable conditions that were simply not conducive for learning.
According to him, “we were trying to close so many schools because most of them are not schools. There was an area where a school was located inside a brothel. You will see small children studying in the school and just by the side, you see people moving half unclad. How can they learn in that kind of environment?”
Earlier in his address, the Chairman, Nyanya (Phase I) Landlords Association, Abuja, Alhaji Mamman Jimoh Lawal appreciated the Minister for the prompt way he is handling the problems of their community; saying the association was ready to partner with the FCTA to solve the problem of underdevelopment across FCT.
Alhaji Lawal who said that they were impressed by the enthusiasm of the Minister to proffer solution to the problems bedeviling Nyanya community, added that the association was ready to engage and sensitize FCT residents to support the process of change which is the fulcrum of the Federal Government’s policy.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye and other senior officials of the FCT Administration joined the Minister to receive the officials of the Association.