Area council land title owners, others to be regulated

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By Abba – Eku Onyeka, Abuja

Area Council land title owners, beneficiaries of mass housing schemes and multi dwelling structures in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) can now have their titles regularized, paving the way for the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), according to press release from Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Administration (FCTA), Anthony Ogunleya yesterday.

This was disclosed by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello during the commissioning ceremony of the Accelerated Area Council and Sectional Titles Re-Issuance Scheme (AACSTRIS) project office on Thursday, 11 March 2021.

In his address during the ceremony, the FCT Minister said “Land title owners across the Area Councils and home owners in the many estates and mass housing schemes in the FCT can now fully benefit from their real estate investments as regularized titles would be issued statutory Rights of Occupancy and subsequently, Certificates of Occupancy which are bankable instruments.”

The Minister also revealed that the project is also expected to improve the revenue base of the FCT through the payment of premium, ground rents and other sundry charges which will subsequently be utilized for the provision of needed infrastructure within the FCT. He said the establishment of the AACSTRIS office was yet another milestone in the quest of building a very efficient and responsive land administration in the FCT also commended the management of the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) and Department of Land Administration for their commitment to the project.

He also thanked members of the three Committees of the FCT in the National Assembly for their support of the FCT Administrations’s projects as indicated by their presence at the commissioning ceremony.

In addition to commissioning the AACSTRIS project office, the FCT Minister also commissioned the utility vehicles for the project as well as the upgraded AGIS Geospatial Data Infrastructure which is intended to accommodate new data from the AACSTRIS project and extend services to other stakeholder departments.

Speaking during the commissioning of the data center, the Bello admonished staff of the relevant departments to shun acts of corruption that could hinder the implementation of the new project for which the Administration had committed enormous resources.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director of the AGIS, Dr Isa Jalo said that the main objectives of the AACSTRIS project include: processing backlog of pending applications for the regularization of Area Council land titles from customary to statutory titles; updating of spatial and land information records for pending applications for regularization of Area Council Titles; commencing of issuance of Sectional Titles for Multi-dwelling  Units and Mass Housing Estates in the FCT; laising with staff of the FCTA/FCDA to resolve outstanding issues associated with problematic Area Council land application allocations and; issuance of title to successfully vetted Area Council titles

The Director also revealed that so far, 302 layouts have been vetted by the Department of Urban and Reginal planning, to be processed into the AGIS database after meeting all statutory requirements while over 700 title were vetted by the Department of Land Administration, just as he said that the Mass Housing Department had submitted documents from 23 estates under the mass housing scheme for processing of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to beneficiaries while 702 Rights of Occupancy were issued pending payments for C of O.

Also speaking at the event was the Chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT Senator Abubakar Kyari who commended the FCT Administration for taking the AACSTRIS initiative to improve land administration services in the FCT.

Present at the event is the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjnai Aliyu,  Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, Senator Mohammed Hassan Gusau, Deputy Chairman House Committee on the FCT, Hon. Blessing Onu, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, FCTA Director of Land Administration, TPL Adamu Hussaini Jibrin and other senior staff of the FCTA.