In the span of only one month since Minister Nyesom Wike issued a two-week ultimatum pertaining to ground rent payments within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), there has been a notable achievement of approximately N1 billion in successful recoveries, in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
In response to this directive, the headquarters of the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS), in conjunction with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has experienced a remarkable surge in activity, with property owners hastening to clear their outstanding debts.
Debtors of ground rents now flock to the AGIS office daily, aiming to comply with the ultimatum and prevent the potential revocation of their properties.
Isiaku Ndatsu Alfa, the acting director of AGIS, noted a remarkable surge in ground rent payments after the minister’s order in August. Earnings jumped from a low point of June to July to N500 million and continued to climb steadily, surpassing N1 billion by September 17, 2023, with expectations of doubling by month-end.
Alfa also revealed plans for an online payment portal, simplifying transactions for ground rents, certificates of occupancy (C of O), and more, with an official launch anticipated before year-end.
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This digital platform, developed in partnership with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), will facilitate hassle-free remote payments. This aligns seamlessly with the minister’s dedication to enhancing the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the FCT, ensuring greater financial stability for the region.
The AGIS director emphasized that this renewed focus on revenue generation has positively impacted capital projects, prompting property owners to fulfill their ground rent obligations.
To effectively manage the increased customer demand, AGIS, in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has bolstered its resources by acquiring extra laptops and computer systems. Additionally, staff reallocations have been made in direct response to Minister Wike’s ultimatum.
Jibril Adamu Husseini, the acting director of AGIS’ Department of Land Administration, praised the minister’s decision, recognizing it as the key to recovering the over N34 billion in outstanding debt, citing non-payment of ground rents as a breach of terms and allocation conditions.