The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Dino Melaye, has decried the construction of illegal structures on the Maitama Hill by some prominent Nigerians.
Melaye, who made the condemnation during the budget defence of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory, said the committee had given a directive for stoppage of construction at the site immediately.
He said the 8th Senate would not tolerate any move by any Nigerian to dissipate the FCT by changing its original plan.
“The beautiful Maitama Hill has been dissipated and shared by people who refer to themselves as powerful Nigerians.
“This is not acceptable to the 8th Senate and to this committee and this committee, in the interest of Nigerians, will not allow any construction to continue on the Maitama Hill.
“ Apart from the fact that we have stopped work, the green there must be replanted and the trees immediately restored.
“We will not, out of fear, refuse to do our work. So, this morning, I will announce to Nigerians the powerful Nigerians, who shared the Maitama Hill among themselves and we will not stop at that.
“We are going to sit with you Mr Minister to ensure that there is immediate correction. Nigeria belongs to us, the FCT is the beauty of this country, modelled after the Capital of Brazil,’’ he said.
He urged the current FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello, to ensure that the original plan for Abuja was restored.
He said while countries were working on salvaging the environment from the effect of climate change, some Nigerians, out of selfish interest, appropriated a green area to themselves.
He urged the FCT minister to also investigate the Vice-President’s residence which kept recurring in the budget.
Melaye said the variation in the construction of the building was above the initial project cost.
He said, “ it is ridiculous and with the way corruption is being planted in this project it may never be completed.
“Whenever it comes up in the budget, there is variation and now it is laughable, ridiculous and unacceptable and totally embarrassing that the cost of variation is above the total cost of the project.
“So, Mr Minister, look into that because it has to stop this time.’’(NAN)