FCT minister stops work on Venezuela Embassy land

By Daniel Tyokua

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has directed that the illegal ongoing construction on a piece of land allocated to the Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in Abuja, to be stopped.

In statement issued by Abubakar Sani, Special Assistant (Media) to the minister, said the directive follows a complaint from the Venezuelan government which was forwarded by a three-man delegation that visited the Minister, at the weekend.

The delegation had complained that the piece of land allocated to the Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in Abuja in 1991, was illegally sold out to a private company by the former Head of Chancery at the Embassy.

Bello explained that records of the FCT Administration show that the land in question remained that of the Embassy of Venezuela as the law does not permit the endorsement of sale of land belonging to a country to a private company or individual.

“Information in the files indicate that some officials of your Embassy brought documents in August, 2018, for registration and transfer of title. But the FCT Administration cannot transfer land title from a country to a private company”, the Minister said.

The Minister noted that Nigeria and Venezuela enjoy a very strong and friendly diplomatic relationship which is highly cherished.

He assured the delegation that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure the restoration of the land to its original status.

Leader of the delegation, Mr. Konrath Moreno, Director-General of Legal Consultancy in the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the purported sale of the land was not authorised by his government. He, therefore, appealed to the Minister to help in the recovery of the land which is meant for the building of a Diplomatic residence.

Other members of the delegation include the Ambassador Mr. David Velasquez, Madam Marisol Awarado and a representative of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malam Abubakar Sani.

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