FCTA Reduces C of O Cost to N3.5m, Launches Mass Transit December

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration has reduced the cost of Certificates of Occupancy to N3.5 million, slashing off N1.5 million from the proposed cost of N5 million.

FCT Minister, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike disclosed this Friday and also hinted that the FCT would be launching its mass transportation buses and taxis next month to ply the routes of Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, and Garki, ahead of the January 2024 phase-out of tricycles, popularly called Kepe Napep, operation in the city centre.

While he also hinted that the FCTA would be spending about N600 million to repair the mass transit buses in its fleet which would also be deployed in various routes to ease transportation, the minister also said previously issued documents and C of Os are to be recertified.

The minister said a slash in the cost of C of O owed to the recommendations of the Task Force on the issuance of C of Os, in mass housing estates and recovery of land use contravention fees.

 It may be recalled that the Taskforce had proposed the payment of the sum of N5 million which was largely objected to by stakeholders, prompting the organisation of an interface between estate developers as well as residents’ associations.

The Minister equally stated that new security features such as the National Identification Number (NIN) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for individuals and corporate organisations respectively will be incorporated in the new Certificates.

He however disclosed that the N3.5 million will not apply for recertification, but will be applicable only for new issuances.

“Those who have a C of O don’t need to pay this money. The highest you can pay is maybe N50,000 and for corporate bodies, maybe N100,000 because you already have a C of O. All you are doing is to recertify in order to incorporate these new features.”

He said the FCT Administration will enforce the payment of property tax and ground rent, warning that those who fail to pay will have their allocations revoked as the FCTA seeks to shore up IGR which has now increased from a monthly collection of N14 billion to over N20 billion.

“Over the years, nobody has been able to enforce the payment of ground rent. I came on board and I said okay, it can’t be business as usual. You have property, you are given a C of O to back up your property. In that C of O, you are told to pay annual ground rent. For the past 15 years, you didn’t pay. Some people, for the past 20 years, they never paid.

“And you know Nigerians, they said nothing will happen. I came and said something would happen and they have to pay. Seeing that we mean what we have said, if you don’t pay, we will revoke and we have been doing that. People are now queueing up to pay. Go to AGIS, people are queuing up and that has now increased our IGR.”

He also promised to give 70 percent of the FCT budget to capital projects in new adjustments in the capital city budgeting process to give priority to capital projects. Henceforth, 30 percent will be utilized for overhead expenditure.

 He assured that the Abuja mass rail transit scheme would be completed before May 2024 to coincide with the celebration of the year anniversary of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, adding that provisions have been made for funding the projects in the FCT 2023 supplementary budget following assurances from the contractors.

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