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HomeAbuja NewsNo more agents in Abuja, Wike tells developers

No more agents in Abuja, Wike tells developers

…Pegs C-of-O at N5m

By Sarah NEGEDU 

The Federal Capital Territory Administration is hoping to cut off middlemen in land administration, particularly in the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy, C-of-O, so as to retore sanity in the system.

This is as the FCTA gave a four month grace period for estate owners, developers and private property owners to pay N5 million for their Certificates of Occupancy.

The administration on Tuesday, pegged the cost of C-of-O per property or house, irrespective of the type of building or land size or location at N5million, with a condition of a one-off payment.

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, at an interactive session with estate owners, developers and private property owners, announced that the FCTA will digitalise the issuance process and also tighten the security features on C-of-Os to end the falsification and recycling of the documents.

Wike, who expressed displeasure over the rate at which fake Certificate of Occupancies are being given through bad eggs in the administration, said he will seek presidential approval to add National Identification Number, NIN, as part of security features of the new C of O to be issued.

According to the minister, “The administration will digitalise the system so as that every C of O is linked to your NIN, companies and individuals so we know when a building collapses or when crime is committed in a building we will be able to track the owner.

“Also, for purposes of taxation and easy identification of property owners who default in payment of property taxes and the likes. There must be orderliness and sanity in our system.”

Wike, while recounting an incident when as governor of Rivers State, he was issued a fake C of O by officials of the FCTA, stressed that it will not be business as usual, where three or more poeple will be allocated the same plot of land with fake C of O.

In his words, “Allocation of lands to three or more persons will be a thing of the past. To develop a city, hard decisions must be taken, and this is part of the hard decisions we want to take today, bare with it, see it as your contribution to nation building.

“When I was governor of Rivers State, three C-of’Os were given by FCTA on a land belonging to the State and we later discovered that the C-of-Os given to us where fake after we had paid N57 million for the lands.

“I will seek the President’s permission to link any C of O to NIN number. The rich men will kick against it but anything that will help our people must be done.”

The minister also revealed that there is a backlog of 18,000 Certificates of Occupancies waiting to be signed and therefore asked the developers and property owners to reason with the administration.
He noted that the land swap agreement between developers and the government is lumpsided in favour of the developers and so the need to correct some of the errors.

On the issue of one-chance, the minister announced that the administration will soon take delivery of taxis and buses to ease issues of transportation and also address the menace of one-chance in Abuja. 
He said, “We will be launching city taxis in the next one month to end issues of one chance. So that when you enter unpainted taxis and get robbed, then that is your fault. We will also phase out tricycles in the city. You can’t say because of hunger we should allow lawlessness. I have the duty to protect lives and property of residents and we will do that. We can not because of hunger allow people to die.”

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