El-Rufai warns agencies over demolition of buildings

Nasir El-Rufai

Nasir El-Rufai

KADUNA State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has assured people in the state that there was nothing to fear from the ongoing effort to recover public land from illegal occupants, warning government agencies against indiscriminate marking of buildings and structures for demolition.

Besides, a statement from the government explained at the weekend that all cases of encroachment on lands belonging to public institutions such as schools and hospitals would be handled accordingly.

The government also explained that there would be no blanket marking of buildings, neighborhoods and layouts, stressing that local councils have no role in the land recovery process beyond gathering and forwarding relevant information to the appropriate agencies.

The statement signed by the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, disclosed that, “clear directives on the land recovery exercise have been issued, and that the government has reminded the agencies involved to comply strictly with the instructions.”

Aruwan, who spoke on behalf of El-Rufai said: “The Kaduna State Government has announced its determination to recover lands belonging to public institutions.

This applies to lands that have been illegally excised, carved-out or alienated in a manner that contradicts the security, orderly environment and expansion prospects of the affected schools, hospitals and other public institutions.

In restoring the integrity of these lands, the government has taken steps to ensure that the recovery exercise is conducted in a fair and orderly manner that upholds public interest and conforms to social harmony.

El -Rufai insisted that, “Therefore, all agencies involved in the implementation of the land recovery exercise must note and abide by these considerations.

There will be no marking of buildings or plots, or the delivery of stop-work or recovery notices until proper surveys and assessment of maps have established the boundaries of the affected institutions, and the extent of the encroachment they have suffered.

The governor’s written approval must be obtained before any action is undertaken to initiate recovery processes based on the surveys and maps showing these encroachments.

Approvals for necessary action will not be granted except it is evident that the layouts containing the excisions are illegal or irregular, and are clearly inimical to the purpose of the affected institutions in such a manner that cannot be prudently remedied.

Where the boundaries that have survived encroachment are considered sufficient for the functioning of these public institutions, other actions short of recovery will be taken on the encroached lands.

Due notice must be taken of the historic nature of the encroachments, and the longevity of some of the buildings and layouts that are a result of encroachment but are longstanding, and do not manifestly impede the safe and smooth running of the affected public institutions.”

The statement also added that, “the government appreciates the understanding and support of the general public for the land recovery exercise,” pointing out that, “Citizens are encouraged to report any fears and concerns about the exercise to the government.”

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