Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike yesterday flayed government agencies in charge of land administration in the FCT as collaborators in Land Use Act contravention.
He disclosed this when he inaugurated the task force on the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for mass housing and the recovery of land use contravention fees.
He said the heads of the agencies, including Directors, Department of Development Control, Director, Department of Land Administration, Director of AGIS and Director, Department of Mass Housing were included in the task force to solve the problem they created.
“Part of the problem we are having is that the agencies’ development control is part of the problem; the land registry is part of the problem; Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) is part of the problem.
“That is why they are part of the task force to face the problem they have caused and solve the problem. No outsider will do it.
“So, you must be diligent. Of course, you know, I will monitor what you are doing, and this assignment will not last more than one month from today,” Wike said.
He said the inauguration would ensure that each of the houses in mass housing estates has its own Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and pays for it.
He also insisted that those who contravened the Land Use Act must be recertified and pay penalties while decrying the situation where virtually all residential areas in FCT had turned to commercial.
“So, there must be a recertification and there must be penalties. The only way people can be deterred from doing this is to make sure that we discourage them and discouraging them means that if you want to build, you have a penalty to pay, and that penalty must be severe.
“In as much as we want to generate revenue, we also want to control the development of areas,” he said.
He charged the task force to open two dedicated bank accounts for the assignment: one for non-compliance with the land use act and the other for the C of O.
The committee is chaired by Senior Special Assistant to the minister on Lands, Urban and Regional Planning, Mr Michael Chinda, while the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, Mr Shehu Ahmad would serve as the secretary.
Other members of the task force include the Director, Department of Surveying and Mapping and Director, Department of Urban and Regional Planning.