N29BN GROUND RENT DEBT: DEFAULTERS RISK FORFEITURE OF PROPERTY
By: Ben Ukeji & Prudence Okonna
For non compliance with several appeals and warnings to pay outstanding ground rents and other land related charges, property owners in the Federal Capital Territory may soon forfeits their property to government.
Similarly, the affected titles holders could also be prosecuted in accordance with the land use Act and other extants laws governing land administration in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
A statement signed by the Director, Information and Communication Department,FCT, Muhammad Hazat Sule, who is also the Chairman,Sub Committee on Publicity of the Coordinating Committee on the Recovery of Outstanding Ground Rents,said defaulters of N29, 506,643,943.98 owed the FCT Administration could eventually loose right over the property, if they remained recalcitrant.
The FCT Administration decided to set up this Coordinating Committee after several appeals and notices served the affected property owners failed to yield the desired result.
It may be recalled that the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade recently inaugurated a debt recovery committee with the mandate to recover the outstanding debts owed the FCT Administration with particular interest in ground rents and other sundry fees in the Land Administration as well as other Land related departments.
Accordingly, the Committee is expected to formally re-establish communication with the affected persons and corporate bodies as from 1st July 2022, after which those who failed to pay their outstanding debts would be prosecuted.
The Administration is forced to adopt these measures due to the non-compliance by the affected individuals and corporate organizations.
Government, therefore, wish that the affected debtors will come forward and clear their outstanding debts to avoid prosecution, revocation, and/or forfeiture of their property.
The Recovery Committee has already swung into action and perfected modalities towards achieving this onerous task.
The statement also, quoted the Director of saying that government needs resources to execute essential infrastructural projects in the Federal Capital Territory.
The Committee, which has since been meeting to fine tune strategies for the task ahead, also warned debtors of dire consequences should they allow the committee to fully execute its mandate, if they refused to pay the outstanding land fees.
The Committee assured members of the public that it will rigorously carry out its mandate to the latter; adding that ,‘no stone will be left unturned’, in the execution of it’s Mandate.