Abia to resolve procedures in land administration
As part of efforts aimed at reducing the rigorous process involved in land acquisition, Abia State Government has pledged to evolve an efficient land administration system that would reduce the stress in procuring lands.
The State Commissioner for Lands, Mr. Uche Ihediwa disclosed this during an interaction with the State NUJ Council Executives led by the Chairman, Comrade John Emejor. The Council during the visit had sought for a land allocation for journalists, which would be, develop into a Media Village or estate as obtained in some states for members of the third estate of the realm.
Ihediwa, a lawyer disclosed that his ministry was challenged by lack of ‘functional Geographical Information Service (GIS)’ for ease of operation in land acquisition and issuance of Certificate-of-Occupancy.
He pointed out that lack of efficient land administration system in the state has hindered the smooth operations of the ministry, adding that many plots of land were allotted to land speculators who don’t need the land for development but selling them to make money for themselves.
While pledging to allocate land to the NUJ for its proposed Media Village/Estate when government acquires more lands, the Commissioner said past administration had to revoke more than 600 plots of land whose allottees failed to develop. He indicated that the present government might also be compelled to revoke lands whose allottees attempt to offer them for sale.
“This ministry was encumbered by some challenges, including the lack of “functional Geographical Information Service (GIS) for ease of operation in land acquisition and issuance of Certificate-of-Occupancy. When I assumed office, I was under the impression that the ministry had a functional GIS that I would drive but it turned out that the GIS was not in place including the component parts”.
Ihediwa lamented that this ministry that ought to be a vital revenue earner for government, was made dormant by the huge challenges it inherited.
He revealed that in terms of landmass, Abia is the second smallest state in Nigeria stating that resistance of communities was still confronting the state government in its efforts to acquire more lands for development.