The Federal Capital Territory Administration has commenced court processes against land owners over failure to pay up land charges.
Director of Information and Communication, Muhammad Sule, in a statement, said the government was seeking an order to force property owners to clear their debts amounting to over N29 billion or clear the affected properties.
The statement partly read, “Already the government has filed court cases against some of the property owners over their failure to pay the prescribed land charges.
“The government is seeking for an order to force debtors to clear their debts or forfeit the affected property, since they are recalcitrant in paying the debts, despite several appeals”.
“The FCT Administration has taken this step to drive home the point that it is desirous of recovering the over N29 billion Ground Rents owed it by owners”.
According to the statement, as of the end of August 2022, the government was prepared to prosecute the first batch of 413 defaulting land owners.
Earlier, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade had inaugurated a debt recovery committee to recover debts and sundry fees owed to the Land Administration and other land-related departments.
Meanwhile, the Coordinating Committee on the Recovery of Outstanding Ground Rent and Other Related Charges in the FCT, headed by the FCT General Counsel/Secretary Legal Secretariat, Mohammed Babangida Umar, had announced the engagement of five law firms, owned by Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), to prepare legal documents to commence legal action against the defaulting titleholders.
The statement also warned that there will be no “sacred cows”, stating that the FCTA will not retreat in pursuing the legal option, as it needed funds to provide infrastructural development.