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Senate sets to recover N6trn unpaid ground rent from property owners

By: Tijani Adeyemi  – Abuja

The Senate has set up an ad hoc committee to investigate and recover the over six trillion naira accrued from the non-payment of ground rent from property owners across the country. 

The resolution of the Senate follows a motion by Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf  (APC, Taraba Central) coming under orders 41 and 51 of the senate standing rules.

According to him ,the Land Use Act has vested ownership rights to the Federal Government over its land in states and the Federal Capital Territory.

He stated that the rights include the power to control and regulate town planning, and physical development in relation to such lands and by extension prescribing and collection of any tax, fees or rates.

The lawmaker lamented that since 1992, over two million houses across the 36 states of the federation, including FCT have been built and allocated to beneficiaries by the federal government, yet the majority have no  evidence of payment of ground rent on their properties. 

He noted that with the current revenue challenges facing the country, there is a need for the government to look into other means of generating income than relying on oil revenue.

He further stated that investigation reveals that the failure of relevant authorities to recover these funds has led the country to  losing over six trillion naira.

Lawmakers took turns to call on the federal government to come up with a computerized system where all allotted lands and properties, persons yet to pay and fashion out mode of recovering these funds.

The senate resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the inability of the federal ministry of works and housing to investigate and recover these incomes for the government.

The upper chamber is to also investigate the circumstances that led to the inability of the land use act allocation committee, saddled with the responsibility of handing rent and license matter,  to carry out their responsibility on the matter.

The red chamber also called for comprehensive data of federal government property  that are sold to the public under the ministry of works and housing across the country.

The  Senate therefore set up the committee  and members include the following;

Adamu Aliero  (PDP, Kebbi Central )

Sani Musa (APC, Niger East)

Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North)

Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West )

Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central )

Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West)

Yusuf Abubarkar Yusuf  (APC, Taraba Central)

The committee was given one month to report back to plenary.





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