The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has noted that there are conflicts in the administration and management of lands between the Federal and State Government, and called for collaboration in the land administration in the country.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 27th Conference of Directors of Lands in the Federal, States, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) held in Abuja recently, urged directors of Lands at both Federal, State levels to proffer solutions to issues hindering land administration and management nationwide.
Represented by Director of Lands and Housing Development, FMWH, Mr. Godwin Ityoachimin, the minister said: ”It is pertinent to note that there have been conflicts in the administration and management of these lands between the Federal and State Government, hence the need for collaboration in Land Administration in a multi-level administrative system that we have in Nigeria”.
He said the erroneous interpretation of the land use act and conflicting roles in administering land by various tiers of government, the conference was expected to achieve a mutual intergovernmental relationship.
“It presents a valuable opportunity to critically examine the powers of each tier of government in land administration in respect of land acquisition, allocation and landed property management in Nigeria. All human endeavour and development efforts are hinged on land and land resources.
“This makes land a very sensitive and emotive issue. The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, representing the Federal Government, being one of the federating units, has the responsibility of providing housing for Nigerians”, Fashola said.
He tasked the participants to critically examine issues such as land acquisition for government projects, prompt payment of compensation to dispossessed owners.
Other issues he enumerated were the additional cost to government for delayed compensation payments, trespass, and encroachment of Federal Government land, unplanned development of land and maximization of land resources.
The minister expressed the optimism that the conference would come out with a meaningful and workable solution to the problems confronting land administration and management at the various tiers of government.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Bashir Alkali, tasked the participants to put the interest and needs of Nigerians in focus while performing their duties.
“Knowing that land is central to overall existence of our nation, critically examine the land administration/management issues under the Land Use Act and come up with solutions to eliminating areas of conflict among the operators”, he said.
Alkali, represented by Uzo Chukwuwike, said: “The outcome of your deliberations will have tremendous effect on the policy direction and reforms in the land and housing sector.”