Anyone who wants land allocation must show commitment to development — Wike
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has said that the FCT Administration will only allocate land to agencies of government that show commitment and capacity to develop them within a specified time frame.
Barr. Wike disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday. October 19, 2023 when the Acting Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
The Minister said this policy decision is to discourage land speculation in the FCT, warning that the FCT Administration will not hesitate to revoke any allocation that is not developed within a specified period.
He said: “My policy now, before I approve land to any agency, that agency will commit that it will develop this land within so, so number of years. If you do not develop, the FCT should take back your land.”
Responding to a request by the Acting CG for land allocation to construct a school for the staff of the Agency, the FCT Minister said the allocation would be approved on the condition that the Agency commits to a timeline for its development as well as make payment for ground rent.
He said: “I will not allocate land that will be till thy kingdom come. You must convince me that really you are serious to build schools for your staff and their children within a number of years and if that is not done, FCT will take back the land”.
“Even though the condition for granting certificate of occupancy is that you must pay your ground rent. I want to go further and say that in granting you this, that you must pay your ground rent as at when due. E
“Even though it is stated in the C of 0, this time around, we shall not give you notice to pay. A tenant must know he is a debtor.
“You don’t need your landlord to come and tell you that you have not paid for land. You know you are a debtor”, he said.
On the request by the Acting CG to reverse the revocation of its plot in the serviced part of the FCT, the FCT Minister warned that such request will not be honoured, but hinted at the option of penalties.
“If we say we will give you back the land that we have revoked, it would look as if we are not serious. Every agency of government will come.
“Nigeria is such a country that the moment they hear that we have given it back to Customs, all the other agencies will also come back,” he said.
On his part, the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Adewale, congratulated the FCT Minister on his appointment and wished him a successful tenure of office.
The Acting CG who acknowledged Barrister Wike’s track record of achievement in his previous positions as Minister of Education and Governor of Rivers State, expressed confidence that the Minister will also leave a record of performance in the FCT, with transparency and integrity.
He assured the Minister that compliance with FCT laws and regulations was a very important mandate of the Service, adding that the FCT, as the location of its Headquarters and Command, is very critical and strategic to its operations.
Also at the event were the FCT Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola and Mandate Secretaries, as well as senior officials of the Nigeria Customs service and the FCTA. Read more.
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