Financial institutions including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industries, Bank of Commerce, are among highest debtors that have failed to pay up their outstanding ground rents owed the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
The Central Bank is said to owe an outstanding of over N32million in ground rent for its headquarters located in the Central Area of Abuja and another N20 million for its CBN office in Garki II.
Also, its subsidiary, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company owes a ground rent of N41.99million for its office on Plot 54, Garki II, Abuja.
A list recently published by the FCTA suggested that the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, also has a backlog of ground rents for several of its offices in the capital city.
The fund has a debt of N7,504,564 for its office located in the central area, while its management board offices also in the same area has a culminative debt of N13million as debt.
For instance, the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company Limited has an outstanding ground rent of N8,287,799 for its office on Plot 1423, located in the Central Area.
While the Bank of Industry Limited has a backlog of N20,358,404 and another N12,486,075 ground rent debts for its offices located at the Central Area and Asokoro, the defunct Bank of Commerce also bares a N10,155,158 ground rent debt.
Similarly, some Federal Ministries, including Finance, Environment and Foreign Affairs, among others, had outstanding ground rents of N4.9million, N9 1million and N16.1million, respectively.
After several years of nonpayment, security agencies like the Nigerian Police, Civil Defence, National Intelligence Agency, also had outstanding ground rents of N30,533,906, N2,461,866 and N1,589,197, respectively.
Multinational institutions like the African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, and the African Development Bank also had significant ground rent debts for their Abuja regional office, of about N702,728 and N456,820 to their names.
Surprisingly, top revenue generating agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Port Authority also made their entry to the ground rent list of debtors.
While the NNPC owes N5, 419, 872 for its head office at the central area, the NPA had an outstanding of N7.5million for its property on Plot 126, Central Area, while the FIRS owed
N1, 023, 769 for its office at Wuse II and debts for a number of its offices in the capital city.
Also, some departments and agencies of the FCTA, like the Abuja Investments and Property Development Company Limited, APDC, Abuja Markets Management Limited, owed N38.7milliom and N68.5million, for APDC offices at Central Area, Garki II, and N35million owe by the market management company.
The Incorporated Trustees of IBB Golf and Country Club, however tops the list of ground rent debtors with a backlog of N184, 194, 846.
So far, the administration said it has so far recovered close to N2billion in ground rent since the two weeks ultimatum was issued.
Acting Director, AGIS, Isiaku Alfa, told the media that there has been a surge in payment of ground rents since the minister threatened revocation and commenced publication of the debtors.
According to him, collections from June to July were at lowest ebb, but immediately after the minister’s actions in August, ground rent earnings quickly rose to N500 million, growing steadily to over N1 billion.
He said by September 17, ground rents has generated almost two billion for the FCT Administration, precisely N1.9 billion, and the figure is estimated to double by the end of the month.
The FCT Administration had issued a two-week ultimatum to property owners to pay up their outstanding ground rents or risk having such properties revoked by the FCTA.
Part of obligations stipulated in the Certificates of Occupancy for plots in the FCT include, “to pay in advance without demand to the FCTA, the annual ground rents from the first day of January of each year.” A breach of this agreement stated in the Rights of Occupancy could lead to the revocation of the title document.
Despite these stipulations, several public and private institutions have failed to meet up this annual obligations to the FCTA, leaving them with outstanding ground rents cumulatively to the tune of N35billion.