The Department Control of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) is to check the spate of unoccupied houses in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT.)
Malam Yahaya Yusuf, Director of the department, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Yusuf said that a proposal to that effect had been forwarded to the FCT Minister to ensure that all completed structures within the FCT are occupied within a particular period to curtail certain social problems.
“We observe that a lot of houses and mass housing estates in Abuja remain unoccupied long after completion, and this is not proper.
“We have already come up with a proposal on such unoccupied buildings so that their owners will ensure that they are occupied within six months or risk sanctions.
“We intend to start sensitising people to keep such buildings maintained, so that they will not be occupied by hoodlums and other social miscreants,’’ he said.
The director said such initiative would likely influence a downward review of rents in Abuja.
“If developers are compelled to keep their empty houses maintained, even when they are not occupied, it will compel them to ensure that such houses are occupied.
“Eventually, this is most likely to influence the downward review of rents because such measures will result to availability of accommodation,’’ he said.
He added that the initiative, coupled with other plans by the department, would make Abuja a world-class capital city.
“This proposal on empty houses will complement the ongoing review of the Development Control Manual, the FCT Green –building programme, and the automation of building approval process by the department.
“All these will push Abuja toward reasonable comparison with other major cities in the developing world.
“Cities are now measured by the ease with which people are able to do business, and Abuja is set to provide the necessary infrastructure for easy business.
“This will eventually boost investment and revenue generation in the FCT,’’ Yusuf assured. (NAN)