Asides being the seat of government, Abuja is known for its expansive infrastructure and sprawling properties.
But despite this reality, the high number of unoccupied houses in the nation’s capital is gradually becoming a cause for concern, especially as many residents cannot afford the rent.
According to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, the housing deficit for the nation’s capital now hovers around 1.7 and two million.
It also says at least 600 abandoned buildings have been identified by the authorities, with most of them located in Gwarimpa, Wuse, Garki, Maitama, Asokoro and Apo – way above the means of most civil servants.
Consequently, they have to seek more affordable accommodation in the outskirts of the city.
Lamenting about the situation, the convener, Abuja Housing Show, Festus Adebayo noted that the vacant houses are a result of corruption.
“The vacant houses are caused by corruption. Few Nigerians have cornered the commonwealth of this country and what are we doing about it?
“When you come to Abuja, you’ll see people living in some villages that you can’t even pronounce their names properly and every morning you see heavy traffic along those suburbs because the people have to come to the city in the name of earning their daily bread,” he said.
Also addressing the matter, the Director, FCT Development Control Department, Muktar Galadima explained that they are making moves to take over the properties.
“We are proposing to the Federal Executive Council, if they can come in and acquire some of these properties and maybe as a way of solving the housing deficit of the country, giving it out to staff and other Nigerians,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it will commence an investigation into the ownership of the unoccupied houses in Federal Capital Territory.