The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is poised to initiate the demolition of substandard structures throughout FESTAC Town in Lagos State.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Francisca Michael-James, FHA’s Head of Town Planning for the South-West Zone, revealed this information on Friday during an FHA delegation’s visit to FESTAC Town.
Accompanied by a Lagos State task force, the FHA delegation, led by Mrs. Michael-James, conveyed that attempts to halt encroachments and unauthorized construction in FESTAC had proven futile, with encroachers disregarding ‘stop work’ orders and eviction notices.
Mrs. Michael-James informed NAN that the most recent demolition notice issued to illegal occupants in the town had lapsed 21 days ago, prompting the planned large-scale demolition.
Highlighting the imminent risk, Mrs. Michael-James emphasized that the substandard buildings under construction in the encroached areas were situated on swampy land, posing a danger of collapse due to the soil type and its behavior.
She said that the whole of FESTAC Town was sitting on the same kind of delicate soil but gave assurance that engineering solutions were applied to estates built by the Federal Government to achieve quality and durable construction.
“Anytime from now when our management gives approval and the task force is ready for us, we will swing into action.
“We are going to demolish especially structures that are on our major roads; the buildings lack structural integrity because they (owners) never came to us for any approval.
“Our professionals did not supervise the constructions, we don’t even know the integrity of structures that they are building on site in this era of building collapse.
She said that FHA had the title document for the total land of 2,24.6 hectres in the FESTAC master plan.
She said that encroachers were building on Federal Government land.
According to her, there is an edifice being constructed on a major road in FESTAC, and after the property was served a ‘stop work’ order and demolition notice, the owner continued building and started painting.
She said that apart from substandard buildings on illegally-acquired land in FESTAC Town, houses were being constructed on road setbacks, drains and other infrastructure.
She said the demolition would begin from 7th Avenue and 9th Avenue and would later be extended up till 11th Avenue.
Explaining the principles of Raft Foundation, FHA’s South-West Zonal Head of Engineering, Kunle Olaniran, said it could be likened to pilling to a particular height using iron rods to achieve thickness for specific loads before construction
Mr Olaniran said that the underground work required professionalism because of varying calibrations needed on plots with varying soil behaviours.
Alaba Omoniyi, FHA’s South-West Zonal Head of Legal Department, ruled out regularising the areas encroached upon because of the integrity of the buildings constructed on wrong foundations and land gradients.
He said that some the houses were below the level of the road and could eventually collapse because of soil settings.
The Head of the Survey Unit of FHA, Lawal Umar, recounted how his team was attacked severally on construction sites by some encroachers.
He said that it made it difficult for the team to work without security operatives (NAN).