FG to Harmonise, Set up Integrated Depository of Nigeria’s Land Assets

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*Says 2,736 new housing units to be added to country’s housing sector soon

Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government on Tuesday disclosed that Nigeria would soon have a unified depository of her landed assets from the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory, from which appropriate statistics for investments on housing developments; agriculture and others can be obtained by interested investors.

It also stated that about 2,736 newly built housing units would soon be added to the Nigerian national housing stock, to gradually cut down her national housing deficit which it said was estimated at 18 million.

Speaking at the 25th edition of the annual conference of directors and heads of lands in the federal and state government’s ministries, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Mustapha Shehuri, in Abuja, explained that the new land depository would boost investments in the country when it becomes operational.

Shehuri stated that the depository would include all the landed properties in the country, adding that it will be an online system backed up by a good Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure.

According to him, the effort was part of both the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP) and the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) frameworks of the government.

“We are working hard to strengthen the Federal Land Registry for online transactions in line with global best practices. The results of some of these reforms of the federal government in this and other respects are responsible for the modest improvement in the country’s EODB ranking which has now gone up 24 places from the position as at 2015,” said Shehuri.

He further explained: “There are also plans to establish the National Land Depository, a huge ICT-backed infrastructure for the integration of various registries in Nigeria. This would enable prospective investors make quick decisions regarding property investment prospects in the country.”

According to the minister, the government has in line with the demands of the World Bank to make Nigeria’s economy competitive by ensuring prompt processing of landed transactions, processed over 1,500 secondary transactions on its land across the country.

“The ministry has successfully processed over 1,500 secondary transactions on federal government lands nationwide which are already positively impacting on the economy.

“We are also working hard to title over 2000 lands thus empowering the holders to raise investible funds to establish new and grow existing businesses, thereby creating value and jobs,” he noted.

On the status of the National Housing Programme (NHP), Shehuri, stated that: “The NHP would be adding 2,736 serviced units to the national housing stock thus gradually reducing the huge deficit currently estimated at 16 to 18 million units.”