Minister Nyesom Wike Inaugurates Task Force for Land Use Compliance and C of O Issuance in FCT . Mr Nyesom Wike, has taken a bold step to tackle the issue of land use contravention and the absence of valid Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) in mass housing estates. Inaugurating a specialized Task Force in Abuja, Wike emphasized the urgent need to rectify the prevailing situation, where residential areas are being transformed into commercial zones, contravening established land use regulations.
The Minister highlighted the pivotal role of the newly formed Task Force, outlining its primary objective: to ensure every house within mass housing estates possesses a legitimate C of O and complies with the requisite payments. Wike expressed concern over the rampant shift of approved residential structures into commercial establishments and vice versa, flagging this as a breach of the Land Use Act.
“It’s imperative to recertify those who have violated the Land Use Act and enforce appropriate penalties,” Wike stressed. He emphasized the necessity of strict measures to deter such violations, proposing stringent penalties as a means to discourage these infractions. “While we aim to generate revenue, we must also regulate and guide the development within these areas,” he added, reaffirming the necessity to adhere to the original Master Plan of Abuja.
Pointing fingers at government agencies responsible for land administration in the FCT, Wike acknowledged their role in exacerbating the issue. To address this, he integrated these agencies into the Task Force, holding them accountable to resolve the problems they’ve contributed to.
“The agencies responsible are part of the task force to confront and solve these challenges,” Wike asserted. He further urged diligence from the team and set a strict timeline, stating, “This assignment will not exceed one month. Any required funds will be facilitated through Zenith Bank, subject to my approval.”
Directing the Task Force to establish dedicated bank accounts for non-compliance penalties and C of O issuance, Wike emphasized the inclusion of individuals who received land from Area Councils without proper C of Os, urging them to apply and settle the due payments.
Highlighting the critical role of revenue generation for executing projects in the FCT, Wike emphasized a results-oriented approach. “I require results, not excuses,” he declared.
The committee, chaired by Mr Michael Chinda, Senior Special Assistant to Wike on Lands, Urban and Regional Planning, comprises key officials from various departments related to land administration. Chinda assured the Minister of the team’s readiness and commitment to delivering within the stipulated time frame, emphasizing professionalism and precision in their duties.
The task force is poised to tackle the critical issue of land use contravention and C of O issuance, signaling a proactive step towards aligning with established regulations and ensuring proper land utilization within the FCT.