Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State Government has revoked all Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) of lands around the Zuma Rocka ar in Tafa Local Government Area of the state.
The state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, approved the revocation by exercising the powers conferred on him by section 28, sub section 2 (b) of the state 1978 land use act.
The revocation of the land titles also followed a memorandum forwarded to the governor by the state Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Alhaji Haliru Zakari Jikantoro, on March 14 this year.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, which confirmed the revocation of the titles said the governor’s action was also based on the ‘strategic location of the area and the need to preserve the natural endowment for collective benefits and in the overriding public interest.
The statement directed all beneficiaries of land in the area to return the ‘grant or C of O in their possession to the state government immediately and also settle the amount outstanding against them within three months from the date of the revocation.
Vatsa however, stated that beneficiaries with proof of un-exhausted improvement on their revoked plots may be entitled to compensation or alternative allocation of plot where appropriate.
Meanwhile, the commissioner has warned those engaged in commercial activities such as local crushers and quarrying of granite behind the famous Zuma Rock to stop forthwith or face the wrath of the law, pointing out that such parcels of land belong to his ministry.
A total of 241 plots of land with more than half belonging to the Abuja-based Aso Savings and loans scheme are affected by the revocation order.
Others affected were Umar Bature UAIA, Shelter plus Nigeria limited and Minna Economic Regeneration Service.