Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, has established a task force responsible for revoking Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) from non-compliant landowners. 

During the task force’s inauguration in Abuja on Tuesday, the minister stated that it has been given a one-month deadline to complete its mandate and resolve outlined concerns.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has inaugurated a task force saddled to revoke Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) belonging to erring landowners.

Speaking during the inauguration of the task force on Tuesday in Abuja, the minister said it has a one-month timeline to conclude its assignment and address specific issues outlined.

Wike stated that the primary objective of the task force is to ensure that every house within the Mass Housing Estates in the FCT secures a C of O, which will be obtained through payments by the allottees.

The minister added that the task force is also responsible for imposing penalties on allottees who have breached land use regulations, such as the conversion of residential buildings into commercial spaces within the FCT.

He said, “The purpose of setting up the task force is to make sure that all the Mass Housing, each of the houses owns a C of O, and they have to pay for it.

“And then for those who have contravened land use, those who were given approval for residential and converted it to commercial—those who have been given for commercial and they contravened by building residential, there must be penalties.

“And the only way people will be deterred from doing this is to make sure that we discourage them, and discouraging them means that if you want to do it, you have a penalty to pay, and that penalty must be severe.

Wike also issued directives to the task Force to make provisions for land allottees in the Area Councils who lack certificates of occupancy for their plots to enable them to get the land documents.

Expressing concern over instances where developers sell off mass housing land allocations, the minister urged the task force to maintain diligence in their operations, adding that he will personally monitor its activities.

He also disclosed that Zenith Bank Plc has been mandated to provide the necessary funds for the task force’s operations, clarifying that any funds collected through the task force will be deposited with the bank.

Wike issued a stern warning against defaulters that he will not entertain any plea once the Committee commences its work, noting that the FCT, as a non-oil state, relies on internally generated revenue to carry out development projects.

He said, “I’m not interested in who did not comply. I don’t want anybody to write to me that please, the Task Force came, help me. I’m not going to do that. Even if I minute to you, don’t act on it. Pressure can come all over. So, even if you see my minute saying, please treat, put it aside because Nigerians like to put pressure.”

The task force is led by the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Lands, Urban and Regional Planning, Michael O. Chinda, and supported by the Executive Secretary of FCDA as its Secretary.

Other members of the Task Force include the Directors of Land, AGIS, Development Control, Mass Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, and Surveying and Mapping departments.

Source: Naija News