A PRESENTATION AT THE NIGERIAN UNION OF JOURNALISTS HOUSE ACCOUNTAILITY BRIEFING BY PROF. UEVER, JONATHAN NGUTYO, SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE GOVERNOR OF BENUE STATE, BUREAU FOR LANDS AND SURVEY ON 2ND MARCH, 2017
This journey started on July 21st, 2015 – the day the Special Adviser to the Governor in Bureau of Lands and Survey assumed duty.
On assumption, I asked for, but could not get any handover notes from the immediate past Hon. Commissioner for Lands and Survey. To enable me get a glimpse of happenings in the Bureau for Lands and Survey, I held meetings beginning with Directors in the Bureau, and this was followed by meeting with every department and unit, and the process was completed with a meeting with the entire members of the staff of Lands and Survey. This gave me an idea of the many things that had gone wrong during the last administration in the Bureau for Lands and Survey.
I held consultations with the Ter Makurdi and all district heads to solicit their support and cooperation which I am still enjoying. This was followed by meeting with every district head with their kindred heads. This was held at every district headquarter or chamber of the district head. This consultation was stepped down and held with every kindred head and their subjects. At these meeting, we heard complaints arising from the way they were treated in the course of creating Mega Layouts. We noted all problems and complaints for correction in the course of our own operations.
We restored the process in processing title documents: having taken over from the previous administration; and having had consultations with different communities, coupled with the numerous complaints from the public, one of the most outstanding problems that was discovered was processing of title documents for lands. Having encountered this challenge, I decided to elaborately enlighten the public on the process in processing title document for their land. Find attached a copy of the process of processing title documents as elaborately outlined by the Bureau for Lands and Survey.
We insist on a minimum of 90 days for processing title documents. It was discovered that a lot of people who had applied for titles in the bureau for the past 5-6 years had neither gotten their titles nor really know the process of acquiring the title. And this to a larger extent has bedeviled most of the people, especially business men/women who most often use their titles as collaterals for facilities from financial institutions for businesses. We have set duration for processing of title documents for clients which will never be more than 90 days, provided that the applicant has paid all required fees.
We have negotiated and succeeded in convincing many litigants to withdraw cases against the Bureau for Lands and Survey. These include:
- Suite No. MHC/67/2012 between Iortyom Igba and Others Vs Ministry of Lands and Survey and others.
- Suite No. MHC/342/2014 between Davian; Disciple Gaadi Vs Ministry of Lands and Survey and two others.
- Suite No. MHC/186/2015 between Leasing and Support Services Limited Vs Ministry of Lands and Survey and others.
- Suite No. MHC/302/2015 between Dr. Jonathan Kwaghtsule and five others Vs Ministry of Lands and Survey and others
- Suite No. MHC/17/2013 between Sylvester Eugene Odaikwu Abah Vs Davis Ortese Aondoana and four others.
Carried out a review of and beaconed Genable and Ugondo Mega Layout. Completed Genabe Phase 1, 2, 6 and 7. There had been numerous complaints from members of the society as well as corporate organizations on issues of inability to locate and/or identify plots allocated to them by the previous government. This to an extent can be associated with the failure to beacon the layout designed. This gave the government a big challenge thus making it a mandate for me to beacon the layout designed thus the beaconing of Phase 1, phase 2, phase 6 and phase 7. Phases 3, 4 and 5 are ongoing.
We have completed perimeter survey and design for new mega layout at Mbaagi (Ugondo) with a total of 2,315 plots. Beaconing has commenced.
We have also completed perimeter survey and design of Utur Mega Layout in Kyondo u sha district about 10 phases. Beaconing of Phase 1-3 of the layout is ongoing.
We have completed the design of Executive Layout also at Utur Area of Kyondo u sha.
We have reorganized the zonal offices at Otukpo, Gboko and Adikpo for efficient performance. Transfer of staff from zonal offices has been carried out.
Acquired 50ha of land at Abinsi for the Nigerian Police Housing estate: having received a request from the Nigeria Police Service Commission, the Bureau for Lands and Survey acquired 50ha of land situated at Abinsi for the proposed Nigerian Police Housing Estate. The C of O for the Land has been produced and handed over to the IGP by His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
We are in the process of commencing the perimeter survey and demarcation of Mbayoungo Mega Layout at Tyo Mu in Mbawa District.
We are negotiating for acquisition of 50ha and 20ha of land for Police and Nigerian Army Housing Estate: the Nigeria Police had requested for 100ha of land. It is out of this that we have given them 50ha at Abinsi; the remaining 50ha is been sourced on Naka Road.
The Bureau for Lands and Survey has also acquired 10ha of land for Federal Housing Estate at Mobile Police – Welfare Quarters Road. The agency has already commenced construction of phase one of the housing estate.
Acquired 5000ha of land in Nyiev District for a Cargo Airport and a maximum of 200ha in all local government areas for warehouses. Perimeter survey and valuation are ongoing to pave way for compensation to the traditional title holders whose land has been acquired for this purpose.
We have printed many Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) for applicants.
We have scrutinized files of C of O’s printed during the previous regime and discovered so many irregularities and seemingly fraudulent practices. The official report on this will be submitted soon.
In the final analysis, we have regained the confidence of the people in the Bureau for Lands and Survey by being very transparent and preventing sharp practices.
Our problem at the Bureau is that we do not have funds to operate. We are not given a percentage of the revenue generated by us. All approvals given to us have no cash backing yet.
We have been given approval for the sum of seventeen million to beacon and administer the Nyiev Mega Layout, design for which has been done. We have however, not been able to access the cash.
We have acute shortage of staff in Survey Department since government will not recruit now; we have requested staff from the lands department to transfer to the Survey Department to easy the operations of the Survey Department.
To ensure that allotees of the plot take possession of their plots, we have commenced creation of access roads in the layout. One of these access roads passes between phases 2, 7, 6 and 1 of Genabe and will eventually pass through phase 5, 4 and 3 and burst out at Apir opposite the Federal Medical Centre (FMC).
Prof. Uever, Jonathan N.
Bureau for Lands and Survey
PROCEDURE/STEPS IN ACQUIRING LAND TITLE
In order to streamline the process of acquiring land title, the following steps have been put in place for the ease of those applying for plots of land.
Step 1: Collect a TIN (number) at the Accounts Office of the Bureau.
Step 2: Proceed to the designated bank(s) to pay the required fees for either:
- Residential plot – N8,000.00
- Commercial plot – N15,000.00
- Industrial plot – N30,000.00
- Agriculture/voluntary agencies – N10,000.00
Step 3: Return to the Accounts Office of the Bureau with the bank printout and collect a receipt.
Step 4: Walk to the office of the Director of Lands (Room 1) and collect appropriate Land Application Form. Fill out the form and attach 3 passport photographs, Tax Clearance Certificate and a photocopy of the receipt as well as the bank printout. A file will be created for you at the office of the Director of Lands on submission of completed land application form.
Step 5: If land is allocated, then, go to the bank and pay the survey charges and also pay for the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) using the account(s) indicated in the allocation letter. Amount to pay depends on the size of the plot of land.
Remember to also pay N50,000.00 for commercial and N30,000.00 for residential at BENGIS fees before the Bureau will process the allocation further.
NOTE: The rest of the processes as outlined below leading to the issuance of the C of O will be carried out by the Bureau without any payment of money to anybody at the Bureau.
- SITE INSPECTION: This involves the Departments of Lands, Survey and Town Planning. They will make submit their site inspection reports to their Directors who will recommendation base on-site inspection and send same in the subject file to the office of the Director of Lands for processing.
- CHARTING: This will thereafter be done by the Cartography Section of the Surveyor General’s office.
- RECOMMENDATION: From (i) and (ii) above is made for or against the plot or land in question to BENGIS in respect of the land title.
- CERTIFICATION OF OCCUPANCY: If (iii) above is favourable, a C of O is printed and sent to the Governor for him to sign.
- ISSUANCE OF TITLE: After the Certificate of Occupancy is signed by the Governor, it is registered at the Deeds Registry of the Bureau. Applicants can now collect the C of O, which is their land tile and process ends there, except that title holders are required by law to be paying ground rent yearly.