Home Economy Property owners owe FG N6trn unpaid ground rent nationwide—Senate

Property owners owe FG N6trn unpaid ground rent nationwide—Senate

by Business News Report

Senate has started to probe  into the N6 trillion unpaid ground rent from property owners in the states and the Federal Capital Territory, just as it has vowed to recover the money. As a result, the Senate has set  up an ad hoc committee to carry out a holistic  investigate as well as recover  the over six trillion Naira accrued from the non-payment of ground rent from property owners across the country. The adhoc Committee will also investigate why  the  federal ministry of Works and Housing failed  to investigate and recover these incomes for the government .

The Committee which has Senator Adamu Aliero, as Chairman,  Senators Sani Musa; Sam Egwu; Smart Adeyemi; Opeyemi Bamidele; Betty Apiafi, and Yusuf Abubarkar Yusuf, as members with one month to report back at plenary. The Senate is to also investigating the circumstances that led to the inability of the land use act allocation committee, saddled with the responsibility of handing rent and licence matter, to carry out their function on the matter. The Senate  also called for a comprehensive data of federal government property  that are sold to the public under the ministry of works and housing across the country. Resolutions of the Senate was sequel to a motion by Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, APC, Taraba Central. Senator Yusuf who came  under orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Order as amended, said the Land Use Act has vested ownership rights on  the Federal Government over its land in states and the Federal Capital Territory.

According to him,  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 Senator 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 majority have no  evidence of  payment of ground rent on their properties. Yusuf who  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, stated  that investigation reveals that the failure of relevant authorities to recover these funds has led the country to  loosing over six trillion Naira. Senators in their contributions,  called on the Federal Government to come up with a computerised system where all allotted lands and properties, persons yet to pay  and  fashion out mode of recovering these funds .

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