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Ayade approves N500 million for proposed cargo airport land owners

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has approved the payment of N500 million as compensation for the 1,500 hectares of land acquired by the state government for the construction of the proposed cargo airport in Obudu Council.

This came after the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) had charged the state government to decentralise the signing of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and consent for land titles for easy land processes as well as pay compensation on land acquired for projects.

The Commissioner for Lands, Prof. John Inyang, announced the payment of compensation and others yesterday in his office when he received the delegation of the national executive members of the institute led by the president, Roland Ogbonta.

On the acquisition of lands and payment of compensation, Inyang said, “I can tell you that Governor Ayade is one who has been paying compensation as and when due. Since I came on board as commissioner from the first tenure of the governor, we have paid compensation to more than eight different communities and corporate bodies like Palmol.

“We may not be able to pay all because of the paucity of funds. If there is any family or corporate entity that we are owing compensation, they should forward such demand to the Ministry of Lands and it will be made available before the governor.”

On the backlog of unsigned Cs of O and Consent for Land titles, the commissioner said, “When I came on board, it was a huge task because we met a backlog of consent not being signed. Note that preparing consent is one of the procedures in signing the C of O. Consent is for private titles.

“My principal is a very critical person. He took a long time to study why he inherited a lot of backlog of unsigned application for consents. In studying he backlog, he discovered that there were a number of errors. These errors were in areas that cannot be neglected.

“Another thing that was also noted is that people presented wrong figures on cost of land purchase. For instance, they may purchase the land for N100 but will put N10. We have gone a long way in identifying many of such and I can tell you that some of the backlogs we have gone through has been signed.”

The president of NIESV had during his presentation to the commissioner noted that various communities in which their members represent in Cross River State had been complaining about non-payment of compensation by the government for acquired lands. The institution also requested decentralisation of CofO signing.

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