By Ukpono Ukpong
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday explained the reason behind the demolition of the popular UTC Shopping Complex in Area 10, Abuja.
According to the FCT Administration, the over 30 years old complex had to be demolished to give way for the needed remodelling of the structure.
The administration said the structure was long over due for restructuring to fit into a shopping complex model required to grow SMEs that will address the current global business needs and challenges.
Speaking to Journalists in Abuja, Deputy Director, Monitoring and Inspection, Department of Development, Hassan Ogbole said the structures were defective and there was need to upgrade it to the standard that will meet global business standards.
Ogbole noted that provision had been made for the traders and other occupants of the complex to enable reconstruction of the place.
He also stated that enough notices have been given to the occupants of the place, to enable them move out and allow the construction to start, but many of them refused to vacate, while some deliberately refused to move out.
According to him, “the place is in a state of disrepair, the place is no longer habitable for occupation and business activities. The place has to give way for a new development.
“The company handling the development has informed Development Control, and we are here to enforce compliance. We have given them enough notices for them to remove their goods, to enable us start the work.”
Also Speaking, the Secretary, Command and Control, FCTA Department of Security, Peter Olumiji, said demolishing the complex was also needed to curtain the security challenges in the area.
Olumiji noted that apart from restructuring the place to meet global standards, there was a need to curtail the criminal activities prevalent in the place.
He disclosed that plans to remodel the place were carefully designed to end the thuggery that rubbishes the image of the place, especially faking official documents.
One of the traders in the complex, Samuel Onuchukwu, said the traders and other occupants of the complex were worried because the temporary site provided for the developers was not secured for business.
Onuchukwu disclosed that many of the traders were yet to remove their goods and properties from the shops and offices.
According to him, they woke up early in the morning on Saturday to learn that the whole UTC area had been barricaded and demolishing going on , with people’s personal goods still entrapped.