Thursday, 2nd February 2023
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

N29 billion ground rent debts: FCTA drags defaulters to court

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
12 September 2022   |   2:39 am
Determined to recover all ground rent debts owed by property owners in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced prosecution of defaulting titleholders

FCTA ( Federal Capital Territory Administration)

Determined to recover all ground rent debts owed by property owners in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced prosecution of defaulting titleholders, who are yet to pay.

It has filed court cases against some of the property owners over their failure to pay the prescribed land charges.

The FCTA is seeking an order to force debtors to clear their debts or forfeit the affected property, since they are stubborn in paying the debt, despite appeals.

In a statement by its Director of Communication and Information, Mohammed Sule, the FCTA explained that it took this step as part of its efforts to recover over N29 billion in Ground Rent owed to it by property owners.

Last month, it announced its preparedness to prosecute about 413 defaulting property owners by the end of August 2022.

Accordingly, the legal fireworks have commenced and may lead to forfeiture of the affected property to the government in line with relevant laws.

“It is disheartening that some of the debtors have failed to pay their outstanding ground rents, despite several appeals and warnings, thereby, jeopardising the government’s effort at providing critical services to the residents.

Government insisted that since all entreaties have failed, it has no other option than to commence prosecution of the first batch of the defaulting property owners.

It would be recalled that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade, recently inaugurated a debt recovery committee with the mandate to recover outstanding debts owed to the FCT administration with a particular interest in ground rents and other sundry fees in land administration, as well as other land related departments.

The FCT General Counsel/Secretary, Legal Secretariat, Mohammed Umar, heads the coordinating committee on the recovery of outstanding ground rent and other related charges in the FCT.

The committee earlier announced the engagement of five law firms, owned by Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), hired to prepare legal documents to commence legal action against defaulting titleholders.

It said there would be no sacred cows, as the law will surely take its course because the only language it understands is for the debtors to clear their outstanding debt.