Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, announced on Thursday that the FCTA (Federal Capital Territory Administration) will no longer allocate land to government agencies without a clear timeline for development.
This statement came during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Nigerian Customs Service, led by its Acting Comptroller General, Bashir Adeniyi, at Wike’s office in Abuja.
Wike expressed concern about government agencies routinely requesting land without utilizing it for extended periods, and he emphasized that this practice would no longer be tolerated.
The Nigerian Customs Service delegation requested land to construct primary and secondary schools for FCT staff and residents, and they also sought to reverse the revocation of a land parcel in Abuja.
Wike stated that he would approve land for the Customs under the condition that they provide a development plan and a timeline. He also stressed that the Customs must promptly pay their ground rent, even without notice from the FCTA.
He remarked, “Government agencies will always ask for land from FCT without developing it for years. Why would you have land and not develop it? It doesn’t make sense. My policy now, before I approve land to any agency, that agency will commit to developing the land within a certain number of years. If not developed, FCT would take back the land. We will give you (Customs) several years to build schools; if that is not done, FCT will take back their land.”
Wike underlined the importance of fiscal responsibility, stating, “A tenant must know he is a debtor because we depend on revenue to survive as a territory.”
Regarding the revoked land, the Minister clarified that the FCTA would sell the land back to the Customs at its current market value. The land had been revoked due to the Customs’ failure to develop it over an extended period, despite being designated for service purposes.
Wike emphasized the need for revenue to fund various projects in the Federal Capital Territory, emphasizing the importance of fiscal discipline in the allocation of land to government agencies.
Source: Punch Ng