By Hammed Hammed From Osun
The Pastor of the Government Capital Region, Nyesom Wike, has decreased the expense for the issuance of Authentications of Inhabitance (C-of-operating system) for plots of land in Abuja from N5 million to N3.5 million.
Mr Wike had demonstrated days prior that there would be a descending survey of the C-of-O expense, which, he kept up with, is a level rate for all sizes of land and no matter what the area of the land in the FCT.
The pastor, as per an assertion from his office on Friday, reported the decrease of the C-of-O expense to a level pace of N3.5 million at a media preparation at his office in Abuja.
“Issuance of Testaments of Inhabitance will presently cost N3.5 million, a decrease from the recently proposed cost of N5 million,” the assertion by the Head of Press in the priest’s office said, citing Mr Wike as saying during the media preparation on Friday.
He similarly expressed that new security elements, for example, the Public Distinguishing Proof Number (NIN) and the Bank Confirmation Number (BVN) for people and corporate associations, separately, would be consolidated in the new endorsements.
Read the full press statement below:
Issuance of Certificates of Occupancy will now cost N3.5 million, a reduction from the previously proposed cost of N5 million.
This was disclosed by the FCT Minister, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike during his second monthly Ministerial media parley which was held on Friday, November 24th in his office.
Speaking on a wide range of issues, Barrister Wike disclosed that the decision to reduce the cost of C of O was based on the recommendations of the Task Force set up on the issuance of C of Os, in mass housing estates and recovery of land use contravention fees.
It may be recalled that the Taskforce had proposed the payment of the sum of N5 million which was largely objected to by stakeholders, prompting the organization of an interface between estate developers as well as residents’ associations.
The Minister, during that meeting, had hinted at the possibility of a downward review of the cost of issuance of the land document.
The Minister equally stated that new security features such as the National Identification Number (NIN) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for individuals and corporate organizations respectively will be incorporated in the new Certificates.
Barrister Wike equally disclosed that payment of the N3.5 million will not apply for recertification, but will be applicable only for new issuances.
His words “Those who have C of O don’t need to pay this money. The highest you can pay is maybe N50,000 and corporate bodies, maybe N100,000 because you already have C of O. All you are doing is to recertify in order to incorporate these new features.”
Speaking on the efforts to improve revenue generation in the FCT, the FCT Minister also reiterated that the FCT Administration will enforce the payment of property tax and ground rent, warning that those who fail to pay will have their allocations revoked. He stressed that to shore up IGR, payment of ground rent has to be enforced.
He said, “Over the years, nobody has been able to enforce the payment of ground rent. I came on board and I said okay, it can’t be business as usual. You have property, you are given a C of O to back up your property. In that C of O, you are told to be paying annual ground rent. For the past 15 years, you didn’t pay. Some people, for the past 20 years, they never paid.
“And you know Nigerians, they said nothing will happen. I came and said something would happen and they have to pay. Seeing that we mean what we have said, if you don’t pay, we will revoke and we have been doing that, people are now queuing up to pay. Go to AGIS, people are queuing up and that has now increased our IGR.”
He said IGR in the FCT has increased from a monthly collection of N14 billion to over N20 billion.
To ensure that capital projects get priority attention, the Minister revealed that adjustments would be made to the FCT budgeting process, with 70 percent of the budget dedicated to capital projects, while the other 30 percent will be utilized for overhead expenditure.
Speaking on critical ongoing projects in the FCT, including the Abuja mass rail transit scheme, the Minister assured that they would be completed before May 2024 to coincide with the celebration of the one-year anniversary of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.
He added that provisions have also been made for funding the projects in the FCT 2023 supplementary budget, adding that the contractors executing the projects have given assurances that the projects will be completed within schedule.
The Minister equally revealed that the FCT would be launching its mass transportation buses and taxis next month to ply the routes of Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, and Garki, following which tricycles, popularly called Kepe Napep, operation in the city center would be phased out by January 2024.
The Minister added that the FCTA would also be spending about N600 million to repair the mass transit buses in its fleet which would also be deployed in various routes to ease the transportation.
“We are launching vehicles for mass transit in December. Again, it’s part of the supplementary budget we submitted for Mr. President to transmit to the National Assembly. The fund is there. We are anticipating that the National Assembly will pass it. We have started the procurement process so that as it comes, we will not be delayed.
“We have the money in our account. All we are seeking is approval by the National Assembly for us to be able to spend”.
While lamenting the increasing wage bill of the FCT Administration, Barrister Wike, promised to carry out a forensic audit exercise of staff to determine the actual staff strength of the FCTA.

By Hamsina

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