The renowned UTC Shopping Complex in Abuja has been demolished by the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
FCTA stated that the over-30-year-old complex has to be dismantled to make space for the necessary rebuilding.
The administration stated that the structure was long overdue for reorganization in order to fit into the shopping complex model required to expand SMEs in order to handle global business needs and difficulties.
Hassan Ogbole, Deputy Director, Monitoring and Inspection, Department of Development Control, stated that the structures were deficient and that they needed to be upgraded to match global business standards.
Mr Ogbole noted that provisions had been made for the traders and other occupants of the complex to enable the reconstruction of the place.
He also stated that enough notices had been given to the occupants of the place to move out and allow the construction to start, but many of them refused to vacate.
According to him, “The place is in a state of disrepair. The place is no longer habitable for occupation and business activities. The place had to give way for a new development.
Earlier, Peter Olumiji, the Secretary, Command and Control, FCTA Department of Security, stated that dismantling the Complex was also necessary to curb the illegal activities that were taking place there.
He revealed that plans to refurbish the facility were meticulously devised to end the thuggery that tarnishes the place’s image, particularly the falsification of official documents.
Samuel Onuchukwu, one of the Complex’s dealers, revealed that many of the traders had yet to remove their goods and property from the shops and offices.
According to him, they woke up early in the morning on Saturday to learn that the whole UTC area had been barricaded, and demolition was ongoing, with people’s goods still trapped.