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1.    Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike  on Tuesday, inaugurated a Task Force on the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy for mass housing developments and recovery of land use contravention fees in the FCT.

2.    The Task Force which has one month month to conclude its assignment is chaired by the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Lands, and Urban and Regional Planning, Estate Surveyor Michael O. Chinda, while the Executive Secretary, FCDA, will serve as its Secretary.

3.    Other members of the Task Force are the Director, Department of Land, Director AGIS, Director, Department of Development Control, Director Department of Mass Housing, Director, Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Director, Department of Surveying and Mapping.

4.    According to the FCT Minister, the purpose of setting up the Task Force is to ensure that each of the houses in the Mass Housing Estates in the FCT are granted Certificates of Occupancy (C of O)to be paid for by the allottees.

5.    The Task Force is also charged with the task of ensuring that allottees who have contravened land use in the FCT, pay penalties to serve as deterrence. The FCT Minister lamented that a lot of residential allocations in the FCT have been converted to commercial purposes.

6.    He explained that as much as the FCT is seeking to generate revenue to finance projects, it must also ensure that development activities are done in a controlled manner in line with the provisions of law.

7.    In the words of the FCT Minister, “The purpose of setting up the Task force is to make sure that all the Mass Housing, each of the houses own C of O and they have to pay for it. And then those who have contravened land use, those that were given approval for residential and converted it to commercial, those who have been given for commercial and they contravened by building residential, there must be penalties. And the only way people will be deterred from doing this is to make sure that we discourage them and discouraging them means that if you want to do it, you have a penalty to pay and that penalty must be severe.”

8.    The FCT Minister also directed the Task Force to make provisions for land allottees in the Area Councils who do not have certificates of occupancy for their plots  to enable them to get the land documents. He directed the Committee to advertise what is to be paid to enable them obtain the documents.

9.    Frowning at situations where hectares of land are allocated for mass housing development but the developers turn around to sell off the plots, he charged the Task Force to be diligent in its actions, adding that he will personally monitor its activities.

10.The Minister also disclosed that the Zenith Bank Plc has been mandated to provide the enabling funds for the activities of the Task Force and funds collected via the task force will be deposited in the bank.

11.Barrister Wike further warned that he would not entertain any pleas by defaulters when the Committee begins its assignment, noting that the FCT as a non-oil state, relies on internally generated revenue to carry out development projects.  

12.He said, “I’m not interested in who did not comply. I don’t want anybody to write to me that please, the Task Force came, help me. I’m not going to do that. Even if I minute to you, don’t act on it. Pressure can come all over. So, even if you see my minute saying please treat, put it aside because Nigerians like to put pressure.”

13.Speaking on behalf of the task force, the Chairman, ESV Michael Chinda, assured that the Task Team will carry out the assignment with precision, diligence and high level of professionalism.

14.The Chairman also commended the FCT Minister for taking steps to sanitize land administration in the FCT and ensuring that land allottees are provided with requisite titles.

15.He said, “We know that Certificate of Occupancy is an indispensable requirement for land ownership. The land belongs to the government and someone cannot be on government land in perpetuity. You have to legalize your stay and this should be cheery news for property owners in Abuja.”

16.Noting that the distortion of Abuja masterplan, if allowed, will encourage indiscriminate development activities, ESV Chinda warned that the Task Force will not spare anyone that is found to have contravened land use in the FCT.





1 Comment

  • My family bought a piece of land in the early 2000’s. We particularly chose this land because of where it was situated. It was the last money we had that we used to buy this land before we left the country for England.

    After living abroad for seventeen years, we arrived Nigeria in 2021 and discovered that the land was already re allocated to DUNAMIS Church and they have already built their church on the land. While in England, we kept on calling to ask that we wanted to pay our ground rent and were told that we should wait because the government was redesigning lands in that arear.

    We were patient enough knowing that there were many citizens involved who had bought lands around that area. We waited, only to find out that our land had been re allocated without our knowledge and no information sent to us.

    We never ever thought that the government could collect lands bought by citizens, re allocate them to other parties without finding a suitable land for the owners. We left Abuja knowing that the Master Plan had been restored by Governor El Rufai and he had been very empathic about people not distorting the Master Plan ever again. We were very confident about lands in Abuja and decided to build out final house when we come back which we planned on doing so, when we arrive Nigeria, four years from now. We have worked hard abroad and are already tired because we are no longer young. But to our greatest shock, we arrived, payed for two separate Abuja map readers to show us our land, but were shown the land built on by DUNAMIS.

    We have had to engage the services of a lawyer paying him a lot of money to pursue this case. We had to do so because we has to leave the country again. We also know the court system is very slow, that’s why I have decided to come through this portal because everything in the Ministry is complicated to navigate. We do not know what Department to send someone to to the the information for us.

    We know that Minister Nyesom Wike has come to right the wrongs and correct the injustices about land in Abuja. We bought this land with our hard earned money and chose that particular spot because of its proximity to the city. We did due diligence, went to AMAAC and made sure we filed our documents before we left.

    I will be extremely grateful if the person reading this, will come back to me with information that will help us as to what is happening and what we have to do to get our land before we come back.

    We know that the government is put in place to alleviate the problems of the citizens and not to compound them. We are already old and do not have the money to buy new land nor the energy to go around fighting for what was ours.

    Thank you and kind regards.

    Mrs Eunice Lar

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