TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA ) has vowed to prosecute all city developers who have continued to fell purpose trees illegally, this is as the United Nations ( UN ) mark this year’s Environment Day, with symbolic tree planting campaign.
This was as a joint team of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Department of Development Control, on Friday arrested a developer at Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2, for destroying six trees around its project site.
The Director, Department of Development Control, Murktar Galadima, said the arrested developer used night periods to illegally fell purpose trees, also deviated from the approved plan for the project.
Galadima stated that the developer and others who destroy trees planted on Abuja streets to protect the city shall be prosecuted in accordance with extant laws.
He also hinted that the Architect handling the building project, who encouraged the destruction of the trees, has been reported to the Architect Registration Council for appropriate disciplinary actions for unprofessional conducts.
According to him, ” We have just been told that some people are cutting trees in the night, the owners of this building obviously are cutting the trees, because they want more visibility for their commercial building. Evidently, we have seen six tree stumps not yet removed.
” We are going to use FCT Tree Presevation Order, and going by the Environmental Act to prosecute them. We have also marked the building under construction, because they have converted the parking lots to shops, despite our repeated service of ” stop work ” notice.
He continued: ” We have also sent a complaint letter to the Architect Registration Council, to take actions against the Architect who is handling the project, for deviating from the approved plan”.
Also speaking, the Director AEPB, Baba Lawal, stated the Administration was pained by the destruction of the trees, because they were planted with public funds and nurtured over a ten year period, for the purpose of protecting the environment.
Adding that ” this developer who is constructing this monumental building on this junction, has deliberately cut these trees planted more than 10 years ago.
” These felled trees where planted with public funds and nurtured to help protect the environment, but the developers here decided to cut down street trees planted to cool the city”.