Published On: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017

Vox Pop: Residents express mixed-feelings over plan to seize Abuja’s unoccupied buildings

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Following widely publicized purported plan by President Muhammadu Buhari’s-led federal government to seize and sell unoccupied buildings in Abuj


a, Peoples Daily Metro, sought views of residents in the nation’s capital on the issue. Our correspondent, Maduakor Uju, conducted this vox pop for your reading pleasure. Excerpts:

Miss Chiamaka Micheal (social worker): I know that Abuja has a Master plan, where the buildings are located is a huge factor like the central business areas. Agencies like the FCDA should be contacted by the government to know who owns a particular building and for what purpose it was erected. If there is absolutely no claim to it then they can seize it but I am having issues with whom they are selling to. It should rather be used as health care centers,garages,storage houses and all of that.

Mr Frank Enemoh (software programmer): I might build a house this year and probably wishes to sell it in four or five years time or might want to even leave it for my kids but the government coming in with seizing and selling it is something else. It’s my property, I


may decide to leave it,sell it, give it out or do whatever with it,the government has no right over them as long as it wasn’t built on a government land. The government may be trying to eradicate corruption from the hands if those who loot money and ties them to buildings and structures but that’s not the best way to go about it.
Other than seizing such properties, they should be a public announcement for owners of buildings in areas like Maitama or Asokoro to come make use of their buildings. If it is also about revenue generation, there are also ways money can be raised for developmental purposes like imposition of tax among others other than selling a man’s sweat.

Mrs Gloria Maduakor (business woman): For me, if the mandate of this administration is to eradicate corruption, and I think that is what the government is trying to do.people embezzling funds meant for public development for their personal gains. A building worth a


million naira which can change the lives of about 50 Nigerians will be left unoccupied nd depreciating year after year.
But the question to be asked is; who are those buildings being sold to? because they may end up seizing and selling the buildings among themselves. However, if it is genuinely sold and the money realized judiciously used in enriching lives, then I have no problem with that.

Mr Edache Olaypole (media consultant): It is a welcome idea for buildings whose real owners cannot be traced because it might be the proceeds of a corrupt personality. We have heard cases of government recovering stolen monet but where this money goes to is something we don’t know and it makes people like me want to question such motives, because it apparently lacks transparency. We are in September and the 2017 budget has not yet being implemented, this could just be another plan to make the government popular but like I said if it is genuine then its a welcome idea.


Mrs Chineye Ralph: I love the idea of seizing occupied buildings that is obviously not helping anyone but I totally disagree with the plans to sell them. They should rather be used for other developmental purposes like hospitals, garages,primary schools and so on.

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