The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has unveiled plans to demolish a total of 677 houses, with an additional 744 structures set to undergo partial demolition due to violations committed by a developer in Phase 2 of Festac Town, located in the Amuwo-Odofin area of Lagos State.
The disclosure was made by the South-West Zonal Manager of FHA, Akintola Olagbemiro, during a site visit to assess the extent of non-compliance with building codes and environmental regulations in the affected area.
Despite previous communication through letters and stakeholders’ meetings, the developers persistently constructed on swampy land without adhering to the stipulated requirements.
He said, “After so many years of trying to get into the property belonging to FHA, which we labeled Festac Phase 2, there has been encroachment and illegal development, and it’s turning the place into a slum. We are trying to see how best we can resolve it and make people live in a more serene environment. Unfortunately, there have been cases of illegal developers and land grabbers.”
Deputy General Manager for Urban and Regional Planning in the Southwest region of the FHA, Francisca Michael-James, said, “Despite issuing multiple notices to the residents, we are dismayed to find that construction activities persist without any regard for the law.”
“Now we have the permission of our management and we will ask for security back up and start enforcement. We will start removing structures from the roads and those on pipelines set back.
“We will also remove the buildings constructed after the stakeholders’ meetings where we agreed that everyone should wait until we are done with our assessment, but some of them continued to build and concluded that we would regularise, but regularisation is not automatic. Now, the ones that did not meet regularisation will have to go.”
Speaking on punishment for contravenors, she said: “In the law, if we demolish, we are supposed to penalize the owner of the building and charge for the fees for the cost of carrying out the operation. Assuming any of the buildings collapsed, the landlord will be charged for manslaughter, but the first point of call will be pointing accusing fingers at the agency, so to avoid that, that’s why we want to carry out the enforcement. The enforcement will be done soon.
“The first thing we are doing is to clear the road; some of the buildings will be partially demolished for right of way. 677 houses will be demolished and 744 will be demolished partially.”