The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished a popular ‘panteka’ (scavengers) market at Apo-Dutse, Abuja, and cleared surrounding shanties in the area.
Speaking to journalists after the exercise in Abuja on Wednesday, Mr Mukhtar Galadima, the Director, Development Control, FCTA, said the demolition was the second in the area within the year.
Galadima explained that the panteka was one of the biggest scraps, used and new items market in Abuja city.
He explained that the measure was part of efforts to rid the area of criminals to ensure maximum security in the nation’s capital.
He said that the demolition became necessary following several complaints from residents of the area over security threats posed by the activities of the panteka operators.
The director reiterated the department’s resolve to clean up Abuja city and ensure that all developments were in line with the Abuja Master Plan.
He advocated the formalisation of the panteka operators in the FCT considering their environmental and economic benefits.
“This is part of the direction of the new FCT Administration in ensuring that everything we do should have an element of tax.
“This will ensure that people contribute to the development and management of the city.
“I am also an advocate of integrating the informal sector because they contribute a huge percentage to the national economy,” he added.
Galadima said that his team would visit other areas with similar challenges for cleanup.
Earlier, the Secretary, FCTA Command and Control, FCTA, Mr Peter Olumuji disclosed that manhole covers and cables were some of the items recovered in the demolished market.
Others, he said, included stolen vehicle parts and number plates, among others.
Olumuji added that other criminal activities like rape were common occurrence in the area.
Some residents of the area also advocated for the formalisation of the panteka market across the city to curtail security threats.
One of them, Mr Umar Salis, urged the government to designate a specific location for the operators to carry out their businesses in a formal and organised manner.
The Chairman of the Apo-Dutse Panteka Union, Mr Sagir Garba, also appealed to the government to formalise their operations to enable them carry out their businesses legally and without fear.
Garba said that with over 18,000 members, they would contribute to the economic development of the city. (NAN)