By Kingsley Madaki
Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA, says it has initiated processes to recover N29 billion 29 billion Naira owed it as ground rent by land allottees in the Federal Capital Territory.
This was disclosed by the General Counsel GC, and Secretary of the Legal Services Secretariat of the FCTA, Barr. Mohammed Babangida Umar, following the FCT Executive Committee meeting held on Monday.
The GC said that the recovery of the funds will be carried out through the instrumentality of the courts.
In his words “The Land Use Act allows us to recover ground rents through the Magistrate Court. N29 Billion is a lot of money that can be used to build infrastructure and improve services for the teeming residents of the FCT who require these services and whose welfare is the cardinal objective and concern of the present administration.
“It is our intention that very soon, debtors and people who are recalcitrant, who have refused to pay their ground rents and other rents due and payable to the FCT Administration, will be made to do so by being sued to court and if they don’t pay, may forfeit their titles on such land.”
Urging residents who are yet to pay their ground rents to do so or risk the prescribed penalties, he said “When this land is given to you, there are terms and conditions attached to the allocation. One of them, fundamentally, is for you to pay your rent. If you don’t pay your rents and you owe for years, what else do you expect?
“It’s like a tenant who lives in a rented apartment and who simply tells his landlord, I’m not paying. What does he expect? And if you need services on the land, you want roads, you want water, you want refuse collection and you are not paying your rent, how then do you expect the government to provide the services?
“We know that budgetary allocations are not enough and you have a duty to pay. After all, these lands are worth a lot of money. So why don’t you just take a bit of it and simply pay your liability” the GC concluded.