By: Ben Ukeji, Prudence Okonna & Wisdom Acka

Fresh revelations have emerged in Abuja today, that property owners in the high brow areas of Maitama, Asokoro and Industrial Area II Districts, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)), are the highest debtors, who refused to pay their ground rents and other land related charges, despite several appeals and advocacy from authorities of the FCT Administration.

The revelation came just as the Coordinating Committee on the Recovery of Outstanding Ground Rents of N29,506,643,943.98 owed the FCT Administration vowed to take all legal means to recover the debt.

A statement from the Director, Information and Communication Department, FCT, Muhammad Hazat Sule, who is also the Chairman, Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the Debt Recovery Committee, indicated that titleholders in Asokoro, Maitama and
Industrial Area II Districts are the highest debtors owing 10.67; 9.43 and 9.29 percent out of the total sum N29, 506, 643.943.98 owed the Administration.

The Director said the Committee is already fine-tuning legal documentations to take all property owners, who have failed to pay, despite repeated warnings to court for prosecution, revocation, or outright forfeiture.

He further explained that in the process of doing its work, it has discovered that bulk of the debtors are titleholders in Asokoro, Industrial Area II and Maitama Districts, considered to be highbrow areas in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.

Accordingly, property owners in Asokoro District alone constitutes 10.67 percent of the Ground Rents defaulters, while the titleholders in Industrial Area II and Maitama Districts comprise 9.43 percent and 9.29 percent respectively.

The statement says the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade had 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 Department as well as other stakeholder’s departments.

It also revealed that Property owners in other Districts such as, Central Business District, Industrial Area I & Extension, as well as Wuse I & II are owing the Administration to the tune of 8.21 percent, 5.18 percent, 5.1 percent, and 4.81 percent respectively.

Titleholders in Garki I & II, Katampe and Jabi Districts are in default of 3.4 percent, 3 percent, 2.21 percent, and 2.15 percent respectively.
Property owners in other districts like Kukwaba, Gwarinpa I, Gudu, Kado, Karmo, Katampe Extention, Utako, Mabushi, Durumi, Daki-Biyu, Guzape, Jahi, Dutse Wuye and Institutions & Research are owing various degrees of percentages.

Thus, the Committee is committed to carrying out its assignment as mandated by the FCT Administration whilst all titleholders must honor their obligation to clear the debts.

“It is more honorable and responsible for property owners to rush to clear their outstanding debts, because it is not going to be business as usual as the government needs these funds to fast-track the infrastructural development of the Federal Capital Territory.” It stated .

Meanwhile, the committee has since dissolved into sub committees of Publicity, Administration, Legal and Finance respectively for effective and diligent execution of its mandate.